Should I use facemasks to protect myself?
Currently in Tasmania, you do not need to wear a facemask to protect yourself from COVID-19, unless you are directly caring for someone who is suspected or known to have COVID-19.
Facemasks are generally for people:
- who are suspected or known to have the virus, if they need to leave their home or place of isolation for medical care or testing
- in close contact (within 1.5 metres) of someone suspected or known to have the virus; this is normally only healthcare workers and carers
- spending time in places where there is known and ongoing community transmission of the virus and it is not always possible to maintain physical distancing from other people.
The advice on when to wear a facemask in Tasmania may change if there is increased risk here, like we have seen in other parts of Australia.
How to use facemasks safely
Be careful to use facemasks properly. Using facemasks incorrectly can cause the virus to spread.
- Before putting on a facemask, wash your hands all over with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub. Dry your hands well.
- To put the mask on, cover your mouth and nose with the mask and make sure there are no gaps between your face and the mask. Tie it in place.
- When you wear a mask, be careful to only touch the ties or elastics. Don’t touch the front of your mask. If you touch the front of your mask, wash your hands immediately or use alcohol-based hand rub.
- Replace the mask with a new one if it gets damp. Do not reuse masks.
- To remove the mask: undo the straps and remove the mask without touching the front of it. Put it straight in the rubbish. Wash your hands all over with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub. Dry your hands well.
- If you are given masks by your GP, leave them in a zip-lock bag until you need to use them.