Health experts say keeping your mask clean is important

Having a mask with a good fit, that covers your mouth and nose is important to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.  After almost one day of wearing my mask, it’s humid and full of makeup. But, how and how often are you supposed to wash them?

I went around downtown La Crosse and asked those walking around when they’ve washed their masks..

“If we’re using it for quite a few hours, we wash them often,” said Patricia Hackett.

“Actually a couple days ago,” said Sherry Schilling.

“I wash it two to three times a week, depending on how often I wear the cloth ones,” said Katelyn Hanson.

Infection Preventionist Megan Meller said, “These should be washed on a daily basis.”

Meller said you can easily wash your masks by just tossing them in the laundry.

“You can wash them in your washer and dryer, it’s a really good way to kill COVID-19.” said Meller.

Meller recommends having multiple masks so you don’t have to wash as often.

“It’s really good to keep switching out… you can have one to match your outfit, you can be crazy, kooky,” said Meller.

But the main reason to have the mask on, is to be safe.

“I feel that I am protecting those around me,” said Hackett.

To keep yourself and others safe, it is important to store your mask correctly. Meller advises you designate a spot in your car, or on your desk, or somewhere in your home to place the mask everytime you take it off. If you’re on the go, you can place the mask in a paper or plastic ziplock bag to keep it extra safe from germs.

But what about that in-between time, when I’m all by myself and I want to take it off,

“And when they take a break from it, they put their mask like this…think of everything that you just touched by lowering your mask down,” said Meller. “So the best way to take a mask off when you don’t want to use it… is to take it off with the ear loops.”

Meller said it is safe to take off your mask when you are outside, by yourself, or physically distanced six feet away from other people.