Carry face mask in a plastic bag to reuse during the day: Ottawa Public Health

Face masks seem to be emerging as an important accessory to any outfit as Canadians start to settle into ‘the new normal.’

Ottawa Public Health is reminding people to carry their used cloth face mask in a plastic bag if they plan to reuse it during the day.

The health unit is sharing tips for people who want to reuse their cloth face mask during the day while at work, out shopping or doing other things during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Walking around downtown Ottawa, you can see people carrying face masks in their hands or with the loops around their arms. 

It has been three weeks since Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches made face masks mandatory in all indoor public spaces to help limit the spread of COVID-19. A face mask can be a cloth (non-medical) mask, a disposable (non-medical) mask, or a medical mask.

FACT. Carry your used/dirty mask in a plastic bag stored in your purse, bag or pocket and dispose properly in trash or wash in machine once home. Get the facts here : #MASKFACTS

— Ottawa Public Health (@ottawahealth) July 26, 2020

In a statement on its website, Ottawa Public Health says, "Cloth masks can be reused throughout the day if not soiled and undamaged."

When you go to remove your face mask, the health unit recommends, "with clean hands, remove the mask from your face and fold it in half so that the outer surface is inwards and place it in a clean, sealable bag until ready to use it again the same day."

When you fold it in half, the health unit says you want to fold it so that the contaminated outer surface is not contacting anything during storage.

You can carry your used mask in a plastic bag stored in your purse, bag or pocket. 

Ottawa Public Health recommends keeping the cloth mask in the plastic bag until you dispose it properly in the trash or wash in the machine once home.

Disposable masks should not be washed, reused or recycled.

Earlier this month, Ottawa Public Health shared tips for washing, reusing and discarding a cloth mask or face covering after using it.