GHS COVID-19 Advice for the public : When and how to use masks

To offer effective protection against COVID-19, masks must be used in combination with frequent hand washing with soap under running water, use of alcohol-based hand sanitizer and physical distancing. They must be worn properly and changed frequently.

• Do not try on masks when buying
• Do not take off masks when talking.
• When drinking or eating, remove the mask appropriately and wear it afterwards correctly
• Carry extra clean masks for possible changes in the day.

Procedures for wearing a mask:

• First wash hands with soap under running water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
• Place the mask over the bridge of your nose
• Fit tightly but comfortably against the side of the face
• Then place the elastic bands behind your ears or tie the ropes around your head
• Stretch the mask downwards to cover your chin
• Allow for breathing without restriction
• Avoid touching the mask while using it; if you do, clean your hands with alcohol-based hand sanitizer or wash your hands with soap under running water
• Replace the mask with a new one as soon as it is wet and wash after each use.
Remember; using masks is only effective if proper hand-washing and social distancing is ensured.

Removing and Care for Cloth Masks:

Remove the elastic bands or untie the ropes from behind (do not touch the front of mask)

How to Care for Cloth Mask

• Cloth masks should be routinely washed depending on the frequency of use.
• Remove mask and put in a bowl of warm soapy water
• Wash it well until clean, rinsed under running water and dry the mask in open sun
• Iron mask and seal it in plastic bag ready for use
• If you notice any damage or change in shape, it is time to change it


• Do not use the same mask for more than 12 hours at a time
• Do not re-use single surgical masks more than twice or N95 masks more than three times


Source: Ghana Health Service