Safety is important when using masks – and there is a right and a wrong way to use them and handle them. Please take a moment to review this document to protect yourself and those around you.


  • ** Perform hand hygiene before and after handling the mask **

  • Only wear hospital-provided medical mask or respirator in the hospital and clinics. 

  • Prior to putting on your mask, check to make sure that it has no defects, such as a tear or torn strap or ear loops. Be sure that the mask is clean and dry.

  • For ear loop mask, use two hands to place the ear loops behind your ears. For mask with ties, secure the ties at middle of head and neck.

  • Press flexible nose band against nose bridge for proper fit.

  • Ensure the mask is fit snug to your face and below chin. Perform hand hygiene after touching the mask.

  • Wear your mask for your full shift. Only remove your mask to eat or drink.

  • When removing your mask, ONLY touch the ear loops or the ties. DO NOT TOUCH the front of the mask.

  • For ear loop mask, remove the mask from the side with your head tilted forward. For tied masks, remove by handling only the ties, and untie the bottom tie followed by the top tie.

  • Properly dispose of your mask at the end of your shift by touching only the ear loops or the ties. Perform hand hygiene before and after removing the mask.


  • Don’t wear a mask that is wet, dirty or damaged; get a new mask.

  • Don’t leave the mask hanging off one ear, hanging around neck or strapped under chin, this increases your risk of contamination.

  • Don’t touch the front of the mask, as it is contaminated after use.

  • Don’t attempt to clean, disinfect or sterilize a mask. If your mask is dirty, get a new one.

  • Don’t bring your soiled mask home for reuse.

Click here to see an instructional video with Dr. Connie Savor Price showing the proper way to put on, take off and handle your mask or face covering. Please note: the video’s first segment endorses using a kerchief as a face covering, which is now out-of-date as compared to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Updated CDC guidance recommends face coverings that are tight fitting with double layers.

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