Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Use & Disposal of Masks
Wearing a non-medical mask, such as a homemade cloth mask, has not been proven to protect the person wearing it. However, it may be helpful in protecting others around you.
Face coverings are another way to prevent respiratory droplets from contaminating other people or surfaces.
They should only be used in addition to other prevention steps.
If you choose to use a non-medical face mask:
- You must wash your hands immediately before putting it on, before taking it off, and immediately after taking it off
- It should fit well (non-gaping)
- Do not share it with others
Face masks can become contaminated on the outside, or when touched by your hands.
- When wearing a mask:
- Avoid touching your face mask while using it
- Continue practicing good hand hygiene
- Change a cloth mask as soon as it gets damp or soiled
- Put it directly into the washing machine or a bag that can be emptied into the washing machine and then disposed of
- Cloth masks can be laundered with other items using a hot cycle, and then dried thoroughly
- Masks that cannot be washed should be discarded and replaced as soon as they get damp, soiled or crumpled
- Dispose of masks properly in a lined garbage bin
- Don't leave discarded masks in shopping carts, on the ground, etc.
Use & Disposal of Gloves
According to AHS, gloves are a very important component of personal protective equipment for healthcare workers, according to Alberta Health Services (AHS). However, gloves do not need to be worn by members of the general public during their daily activities, such as when grocery shopping. If not used and disposed of properly, wearing gloves may provide another surface for the virus to live on – potentially encouraging virus transmission.
The following is for those who choose to wear gloves in public:
- Hands should always be washed and/or sanitized prior to putting on gloves and after taking gloves off
- Gloves should be changed when they become soiled or torn
- Change gloves if you touch your face – eyes, nose or mouth – or cover a cough or sneeze with your hands while wearing gloves
- Disposable gloves should be thrown out and not used again once they have been taken off
- Reusable gloves must be cleaned and disinfected after each use
- Dispose of gloves properly in a lined garbage bin
- Don't leave discarded gloves in shopping carts, on the ground, etc.