How to PROPERLY use a mask

Universal mask use has been recommended in Colorado when in public.

To optimize the efficacy of a mask, it is important to know how to properly put it on and take it off.


  • Start by washing your hands with soap and water (using the WHO technique above!)
  • Hold the mask by the straps/ear loops. Check for any defects and make sure you have it oriented properly (inside/outside/top/bottom).
  • Place the mask on your face, and if there is an adjustable piece that goes over the nose, adjust this to your nasal bridge.
  • If the mask has ear loops, position them around your ears. If it has ties, tie them securely behind your head. Do not leave ties loose.
  • Adjust the mask by the edges to make sure it covers your nose and mouth, and sits under your chin.
  • Wash your hands again.


  • Wash your hands.
  • Try to touch the mask by the ear loops/ties only. Remove ear loops or untie ties.
  • If the mask is a disposable 1 time use mask, throw it in the trash.
  • If the mask is a multi-use washable mask, place it in a paper bag/ pillowcase/laundry bag/etc. and if possible wash it immediately. Do not let the mask sit on the counter, dresser, etc. in case it is contaminated with viruses or bacteria.
  • Wash your hands after removing your mask.


Once your mask is on, try to avoid touching your face.

Do not pull the mask down below your nose, or up above your chin.

Do not let the mask rest under your chin. When it’s on, leave it on in the proper position until you are ready to take it off.

Do not store your mask in your pocket, purse, or other unprotected place. You want to keep the mask as clean as possible, and want to keep it away from other things in case it is contaminated.

Here is a video illustrating some of these tips:

We understand that this is a lot of information, so please do not hesitate to contact us with questions or concerns.

Remember, we have telemedicine visits available that can be done in the comfort of your own home. Stay safe and healthy!

by Dr. Meghan Garcia


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