Local infection control expert shares advice on how to properly wear masks, gloves following CDC recommendation

PITTSBURG, Kan. – The CDC is recommending everyone wear masks when going out. We spoke with an infection control specialist on the do’s and don’ts when it comes to masks and gloves and keeping yourself safe.

Jamie Cravens is the Infection Prevention Coordinator with Ascension Via Christi in Pittsburg. When talking masks, she says the steps seem simple, but are important. Starting with placing the loops of the mask over your ears. “Pull it up, make sure it fits under your chin and then you push it to your nose, the darker side is the one that goes to the outside the lighter side goes to the inside, after you put on your face mask, you want to make sure you don’t continue to touch your face with your hands.”

There’s also specific steps to remove the mask when you’re done. “When you take a mask off, make sure your hands are clean, and then grab it from the ear loop where the bacteria and viruses have not touched, and then discard it.”

Cravens says you can typically wear a mask for several hours, but it’s important to remember not to touch your face.

There’s also some key points about gloves. The first step is to sanitize your hands. “When you have the gloves on, you want to make sure any surface that you’re touching you’re not going to touch later with your un-gloved hands, that way you’re not transferring bacteria and viruses from your gloved hands to surfaces that you’re going to touch with your ungloved hands.”

She says that includes your cell phone, you don’t want to touch it with your gloved hands, especially if you think your gloves could have something on them. And just like masks, you need to remove the gloves a certain way as well. You don’t want to touch the outside with your bare hands. “Go through the inside and then throw them away.”

And be sure to sanitize again after you take the gloves off.