AUSTIN, Texas -- The best form of protection from COVID-19 is to stay at home, but we all need to leave our houses occasionally for groceries and other essentials. If you're leaving the house to go to a grocery store, you should wear a mask and gloves if possible.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that all Americans who are leaving the house and coming into contact with other people wear masks and gloves. The CDC released guidelines regarding the public use of fabric face coverings earlier this week.
The measures are meant to act as an additional protective measure to prevent asymptomatic carriers from spreading the virus.
Some exceptions include young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing or anyone who is unable to remove the covering without help.
T-shirts or bandannas can be used to cover the nose and mouth when outside the home — for instance, at the grocery store or pharmacy. Medical-grade masks, particularly short-in-supply N95 masks, should be reserved for those dealing directly with the pandemic.
Masks and gloves can protect you against contact with infectious materials. However, once contaminated, gloves can become a means for spreading infectious materials to yourself, others or environmental surfaces. Dr. Pradeep Kumar sat down with FOX 7 Austin to explain the proper technique for safely taking on and off your masks and gloves.
How to put on your masks and gloves safely
Masks should fully cover the nose and mouth and fit snuggly over both. Remember, you don’t want to be touching it during use so take the few seconds needed to make sure it is secure on your head and fits snuggly around your face so there are no gaps.
Insert each hand into the appropriate glove and adjust as needed for comfort and dexterity. If you are wearing long sleeves, tuck the gown cuffs securely under each glove. This provides a continuous barrier protection for your skin.
How to safely use masks and gloves
How to remove your masks and gloves safely
To remove your gloves and masks safely, you must first be able to identify what sites are considered “clean” and what are “contaminated.” In general, the outside front of the mask is considered “contaminated,” regardless of whether there is visible soil. Also, the outside of the gloves are contaminated.
The areas that are considered “clean” include inside the gloves and the ear pieces of the mask.