Quick Guide to Face Covering Use

Choosing a Mask

DO choose maskes that:  

Have two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric (e.g. cotton) or tightly woven fabric (i.e., fabrics that do not let light pass through when held up to a light source)

Do Choose 1

Completely cover your nose and mouth

Do cover your nose

Fit snugly against the sides of your face and doesn't have gaps around the sides of your face

Do Choose 3

Other Alternatives:

Disposable Mask
  • Non-medical, commercially available disposable masks can be worn as face coverings (e.g., FFP2, KN95, KF95, etc.).
  • Neck gaiters can be worn if they have at least two layers or are folded to make two layers

DON'T choose masks that:

  • Are made of fabric that makes it hard to breathe, for example, vinyl 
  • Have exhalation valves or vents which allow virus particles to escape
  • Are intended for healthcare workers, including N95 respirators or surgical masks
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How to Properly Fit and Wear a Mask


Choose a face covering with a nose wire to prevent air from leaking out of the top of the mask and bend It over your nose to fit it close to your face.

Mask Nose Wire

Use a mask fitter or brace over a disposable mask or a cloth face covering to prevent air from leaking around the edges of the mask.

Mask Fitter or Brace

Check for gaps by cupping your hands around the outside edges of the face covering to make sure no air is flowing from the area near your eyes or from the sides of it.

Mask Check Gaps

Add layers of material by using a cloth face covering that has multiple layers of fabric or wearing one disposable mask underneath a cloth face covering. The second face covering should push the edges of the inner mask against your face.

Mask Add Layers

Knot and Tuck ear loops of a 3-ply mask

  • Knot the ear loops of a 3-ply face mask where they join the edge of the mask
  • Fold and tuck the unneeded material under the edges
  • For video instructions, see: https://youtu.be/UANi8Cc71A0
Mask Knot and Tuck


  • Wear two disposable masks because they are not designed to fit tightly.
  • Wear KN95 masks with any other type of mask or face covering.
  • Wear face shields in place of face coverings.
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There is emerging guidance that suggests the following face coverings are less protective:

  • Bandanas
  • Scarves
  • Loosely knitted ski masks and balaclavas
Bandana Scarf Balaclava

With all of this guidance in mind, it is also important to make sure that you can easily breathe and see when you are wearing your face covering(s)!

Additional information regarding masks and face covering:

This Quick Guidance on choosing and wearing a mask is also available in a downloadable PDF version