After a close, high-risk encounter like relationship, you should be mindful of your personal risk of contracting and falling ill to COVID-19 as well as the risk you may pose to those in your own circle. I recommend monitoring yourself closely for any symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, shortness of breath, cough, fatigue, the loss of taste and smell). Also, consider getting a COVID-19 test five to seven days after the interaction. I would also refrain from interacting with any at-risk persons within a 14 day period after the encounter. If you cannot avoid contact with a high-risk individual, take precautions to lower your risk profile by social distancing, choosing to interact with the individual in outdoor spaces as opposed to indoor spaces, and wearing a mask.
Using a washing machine
Include your mask with your regular laundry. Use regular laundry detergent and the appropriate settings according to the fabric label.
Wash your mask with tap water and laundry detergent or soap. Rinse thoroughly with clean water to remove detergent or soap.
The CDC recommends washing your mask after each use, and you can wash it in a washing machine or by hand.
If using a washing machine, don’t be afraid to wash your mask along with your regular laundry — with standard laundry detergent and the warmest water the cloth material of your mask can handle.
• Wash your mask with tap water and laundry detergent or soap.
• Rinse thoroughly with clean water to remove detergent or soap.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you wash cloth masks after each use. You can use your standard washer and dryer using the warmest setting possible for the material.
Hand washing with a bleach solution also works.
• Include your mask with your regular laundry.
• Use regular laundry detergent and the appropriate settings according to the fabric label.
When manufacturer instructions for cleaning and disinfection are unavailable, such as for single use disposable face shields, consider: While wearing gloves, carefully wipe the inside, followed by the outside of the face shield or goggles using a clean cloth saturated with neutral detergent solution or cleaner wipe.
Carefully wipe the outside of the face shield or goggles using a wipe or clean cloth saturated with EPA-registered hospital disinfectant solution.
Wipe the outside of face shield or goggles with clean water or alcohol to remove residue. Fully dry (air dry or use clean absorbent towels). Remove gloves and perform hand hygiene.
Double up to enhance mask fit
Adding more layers of material to a mask or wearing two masks reduces the number of respiratory droplets containing the virus that come through the mask.