Victoria’s Chief Health Officer has updated his advice to recommend anyone living in metro Melbourne or Mitchell Shire to wear a face covering or cloth mask when leaving home for one of the four permitted reasons – where it is not possible to maintain a distance of at least 1.5 metres from other people.
This advice is based on new evidence from global medical experts and increased community transmission in Victoria.
Studies have recently shown that, even when factoring in imperfections and human error, wearing face masks can reduce transmission of coronavirus by around 60 per cent.
These recommendations apply to adults over the age of 18, recognising both the lower transmission and disease severity in younger people, but also the difficulty in getting children to wear a face mask properly. The recommendation does not apply to wearing masks in schools and early childhood settings.
“The Chief Health Officer has given us the clear advice that wearing facemasks makes a tangible difference when it comes to reducing the transmission of coronavirus within the community – and that is why we are issuing this new recommendation.” – Premier Dan Andrews
How to make a cloth face-mask at home?
How do I correctly wear a face mask?
There are two types of face masks available: cloth masks (reusable) and surgical masks (single use, disposable)
A cloth mask should fit securely around the face, specifically covering the nose and the mouth areas. The mask should fit snug on your face and be secured by ties at the back of your head or ear loops. Make sure that your mask does not have holes or a valve. This can result in breathing out the virus if you have coronavirus (COVID-19).
Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, or use hand sanitiser that is made up of over 60% alcohol before putting it on and after taking it off. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth at all times and store used face masks in a plastic bag until you have an opportunity to wash them.
Surgical mask (single use)
Before putting on the mask, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, or use a hand sanitiser that is made up of over 60% alcohol. Check for defects in the mask, such as tears or broken loops.Position the coloured side of the mask outward.If present, make sure the metallic strip is at the top of the mask and positioned against the bridge of your nose.Mould the bendable metallic upper strip to the shape of your nose by pinching and pressing down on it with your fingers.Pull the bottom of the mask over your mouth and chin.Be sure the mask fits snugly.Don’t touch the mask once in position.If the mask gets soiled or damp, replace it with a new one.