Melburnians have been asked to wear face masks in public to help combat the current spike in COVID-19 cases and although wearing a mask does not provide 100 per cent protection from contracting or spreading the virus, it does significantly reduce the risk, Beat reports.
However, in order to be effective, it’s important to know the difference between the two main varieties of face masks – cloth and surgical – as well as how to wear each type correctly.
The World Health Organisation has advised that medical or surgical masks should only be worn by health workers, people who have COVID-19 symptoms, those who take care of someone with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19, people over the age of 60 and those with pre-existing health conditions.
It’s also important to note that surgical masks are not reusable. You can find them at the chemist, but they are in high-demand, so please stick to fabric masks if you don’t fall into one of the aforementioned categories.
You can purchase a fabric face mask from just about anywhere amidst the pandemic, but before you go buying from a chain-store or big retailer, check out this list of local not-for-profits, social enterprises and other independent businesses that are giving back to the community with each mask sold.