Social media graphic illustrating mask dos and donts

Wearing a well-fitted mask in indoor public settings can help maximize protection from circulating variants and can help prevent spreading viruses to others. COVID-19 is still circulating, causing illness, hospitalizations, and deaths.

Wearing a mask may be helpful:

  • if you have been exposed to, or tested positive for COVID-19
  • if you or someone close to you has a weakened immune system or is at high risk for severe illness
  • when you are sick, or caring for someone who is sick
  • if you have an underlying health condition, are pregnant, or are age 65 years or older
  • if you wish to, based on personal preference and personal risk

Layered prevention strategies — like staying up to date on vaccines and wearing masks — can help prevent severe illness and reduce strain on the healthcare system. It is also important to continue to wash hands frequently, cover coughs/sneezes, and stay home when sick.

If you wear a mask, be sure to follow these dos and don’ts:

Dos Don’ts
Do wear a mask that fits snuggly from nose to chin Don’t wear your mask below the nose, around your neck, or on your forehead
Do wash your hands frequently Don’t touch your mask more than necessary
Do wear a mask consistently and correctly to stop respiratory droplets from getting inside or escaping from your mask Don’t use a single-layer cloth mask or other loose-fitting mask


Reviewed March 2024

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention