surgical masksThe COVID-19 pandemic is affecting us all, including the team at Roll-Off Dumpster Direct. Since we are considered an essential business, our services remain available. You can read our entire response to COVID-19 here.

With an increase in the use of face masks, more and more are ending up in the trash. Unfortunately, when the masks aren’t properly disposed of, the virus has the chance to spread to sanitation workers. Here’s how you can do your part to keep them safe. 

When to Throw Your Mask Away

If possible, face masks should be disposed of when they start to get damp. Surgical masks are only designed for temporary use. With mask shortages being an issue, the FDA came out with a system for disinfecting masks for healthcare workers so that they can be reused. 

Still, there is the question of disposing of masks that you are using at home for private use.

When is it Important to Wear a Face Mask

Unless you are a healthcare worker, it is unnecessary to wear a mask except under two conditions:

  1. You have exhibited symptoms. If you are experiencing difficulty breathing, cough, or fever, you should wear a mask and seek medical care. 
  2. Someone close to you has symptoms or suspects they have Coronavirus. If you are in the same room as someone with suspected COVID-19 infection, definitely wear a mask and encourage that person to seek medical care.

If neither of these applies to you, there is no need to wear a mask. There is no evidence that masks protect people who are not sick.

This article from the World Health Organization (WHO) has more information about who should wear a mask and how to properly put one on. 

How to Dispose of Facial Masks

With an increase in the number of facial masks being disposed of, sanitation workers are at risk. It’s important to follow the proper protocol when disposing of your mask.

Be sure to follow these steps:

  1. Wash Your Hands: You should always clean your hands with soap and water or with alcohol hand rub before applying and removing your mask.
  2. Untie or Break the Ties at Back of Your Head
  3. Remove Mask: Take care to touch only the ties when handling the mask.
  4. Place Mask in a Plastic Bag and Close it Securely: a shopping bag or a large ziplock bag works well. 
  5. Place Bag in the Garbage.

Thank you for doing your part to protect our sanitation workers and flatten the curve during this pandemic. We hope you and your family are staying safe and healthy during this difficult time. 

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