Dr. Sunil Desai responded, “It seems intuitive, when people say you should universally mask… that we know how to use a mask… and I’ll get to that. It is more important… hand hygiene, hand hygiene, hand hygiene, number one. And number two: don’t touch your face after you’ve touched surfaces. Then, the masking… the vast majority of the public doesn’t realize that when you touch the mask in the center, how do you take off the mask, where do you lay down the mask? If your hands aren’t clean, that mask is worthless… We haven’t trained people to appropriately take it off, touching the strings only, not touching the center of it, and how it’s stored, and how long should you use it, should you launder it… Your hand hygiene and not touching your face and the social distancing, judiciously applied in the most high-risk groups, is the most important.”
Dr. Jamal Hakim said some businesses have asked their employees to wear masks, but they haven’t been taught how to wear masks, “and so an employee at a fast food restaurant is wearing the mask, is touching the mask and then touching the food, touching other things, thinking that they’re protected, but the mask is there to protect others, and if you’re touching the mask–you’re not supposed to touch the mask unless you have clean hands, and you’re supposed to wash your hands after you touch the mask as well, so we have an obligation as health care providers, if the community’s going to mask up, to teach them what’s safe and what’s not safe.”
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