Anyone who enters the supermarket or other public spaces from today should put on a mouthcap. Therefore, in this article, we give tips that you should pay attention to when using a mouth mask.
Apart from some nuances, according to experts, there have been little new insights since the introduction of the mouth mask duty in public transport in June. In this article you can find out where the duty of mouth cap now applies and for whom there are exceptions.
According to RIVM, the discussion about the usefulness of mouthcaps is more political than a medical one. Director of Infectious Diseases Jaap van Dissel said at the beginning of October that they have an “extremely low effect” on preventing the spread of the coronavirus. The American RIVM, the CDC, finds the exact opposite.
Regardless of which institution is right, you will no longer be able to wear a mouth-nose mask in the Netherlands.
How do you wash or disinfect a mouthcap?
Experts agree that it is best to use a disposable mouthcap only once. And there are two main methods to make a reusable, fabric mask safe to put on again.
The first is to store it in a sealed plastic bag for at least five days. According to experts, any virus particles have been killed in a cotton mask. Important is that the cap is not wet, because then it can start molding.
Way two is washing. Thats the main advice. At 60 degrees with a long wash program is sufficient according to the RIVM. Wash at 40 degrees and then dry in the dryer on schedule, or iron at 150 degrees is also an option, says infection prevention expert Ilse Voortman of the GGD Twente.
“ That combination of heat and detergent is sufficient. But in the dryer, of course, the cap can shrink and that affects the fit,” says Voortman.
In the Utrecht district of Overvecht, shoppers appear to be divided over the mudcap obligation:
Another option, which was also advised during the first wave, is to heat the cap in, for example, the oven. But that can lead to damage or burn of the substance. Therefore, today experts do not recommend this.
How dangerous is re-use without washing?
According to doctor and microbiologist Andreas Voss, this is difficult to say and depending on the situation. For example, from cough drops from an infected person, the virus may be on the outside of your mask.
“ When you touch it and then go with your finger in your eye, it can be dangerous. But as long as you keep your hands off your mask and face, the risk will be easy in most cases.”
In this May video, Voss shows you how to put a mouth mask on and off and gives you tips to pay attention to when buying one:
Conversely, an infected person who touches his mouthcap and then, for example, a door handle, can spread the virus further through surfaces. “But the chance of this is much less than coughing drops,” says Voortman. To be completely sure, Voss advises: “Wash them every day after use, just like underwear.”
How to wear and store a mouthcap?
Before you put on one: wash your hands for at least twenty seconds. Grab the mouth mask by the elastics and slide it over your face.
The better the cap fits your skin, the more protection it provides. With a non-medical mask, you especially protect others in case you are contagious. A medical mouth mask also provides the wearer protection against contamination by others.
After taking off, it is best to store the mask in a sealed plastic bag or a lockable box.
How to make one yourself?
If you want to manufacture a mouthcap yourself, you will find a manual here. The National Government has put a list of what you should pay attention to, like washing the textile first at 60 degrees. Cotton is still preferable. That substance causes the least skin irritation in most people.
How to wear a cap without fogging (solar) glasses?
For eyeglasses, a mouth-nose mask can cause a lot of irritation. Especially in this season, in which glasses fog extra quickly. This group of people should make sure that the cap fits as closely as possible to the nose. “So that not too much warm breath escapes and fogging the glasses through condensation,” says Voortman.
An alternative is washing glasses with soapy water. The protective layer ensures that the glasses no longer fog when you go from the inside out.
Can you wear a faceshield instead of a mouthcap?
Some people find the mouthcaps annoying to wear, especially if you have to wear one for several hours in a row. Thats why you sometimes see faceshields, a kind of mudguard thats stuck around your head with a band.
According to the rules, a mouthcap should completely cover the mouth and nose, but this may be waived if an employee for eight hourswith a cap, quotes the ANP minister Hugo de Jonge. It must be a splash guard that covers the entire face, and not “such a half thing under your chin”, says De Jonge.