COVID-19: How to safely use a non-medical mask or face covering


  • DO wear a non-medical mask or face covering to protect others.
  • DO ensure the mask is made of at least two layers of tightly woven fabric.
  • DO inspect the mask for tears or holes.
  • DO ensure the mask or face covering is clean and dry.
  • DO wash your hands or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer before and after touching the mask or face covering.
  • DO use the ear loops or ties to put on and remove the mask.
  • DO ensure your nose and mouth are fully covered.
  • DO replace and launder your mask whenever is becomes damp or dirty.
  • DO wash your mask with hot, soapy water and let it dry completely before wearing it again.
  • DO store re-usable masks in a clean paper bag until you wear it again.
  • DO discard masks that cannot be washed in a plastic lined garbage bin after use.


  • DON’T reuse masks that are moist, dirty or damaged.
  • DON’T wear a loose mask.
  • DON’T touch the mask while wearing it.
  • DON’T remove the mask to talk to someone.
  • DON’T hang mask from your neck or ears.
  • DON’T share your mask.
  • DON’T leave your used mask within the reach of others.

Remember, wearing a non-medical mask or face covering alone will not prevent the spread of COVID-19. You must also wash your hands often, practise physical distancing and stay home if you are sick.

Do your part. Wear a non-medical mask or face covering to protect others when you can’t maintain a 2 metre distance.

Non-medical masks are not recommended for:

  • people who suffer from an illness or disabilities that make it difficult to put on or take off a mask
  • those who have difficulty breathing
  • children under the age of 2 years

Don’t judge others for not wearing a mask.

Kindness is important as some people may not be able to wear a mask or face covering.

Public Health Guidelines

There are several basic recommendations from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC):

  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Encourage those you know to stay home sick until they no longer have symptoms
  • Practice frequent hand hygiene
  • Practice correct coughing and sneezing etiquette
  • Refrain from touching your face
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, such as toys and door handles

Public Health Agency of Canada

Current Situation in Ontario

The number of cases are changing quickly and the provincial and federal governments are rapidly putting in place measures that are precautionary to minimize the risk of exposure and spread.

Please check the Ministry of Health website for additional information about the evolving situation and the provincial response.

For more information on the Government of Canada’s response, including travel information and precautions at international airports and borders, visit Health Canada’s website

Ontario Public Health