Advice on the use of masks in the community, during home care and in health care settings in the context of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak

Masks management


If medical masks are worn, appropriate use and disposal is essential to ensure they are effective and to avoid any increase in risk of transmission associated with the incorrect use and disposal of masks.


The following information on correct use of medical masks derives from the practices in health-care settings :


- place mask carefully to cover mouth and nose and tie securely to minimise any gaps between the face and the mask;

- while in use, avoid touching the mask;

- remove the mask by using appropriate technique (i.e. do not touch the front but remove the lace from behind);

- after removal or whenever you inadvertently touch a used mask, clean hands by using an alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water if visibly soiled

- replace masks with a new clean, dry mask as soon as they become damp/humid;

- do not re-use single-use masks;

- discard single-use masks after each use and dispose of them immediately upon removal.


- WHO Guidelines 2020