Tips for Wearing a Mask Safely

Wednesday, April 22, 2020 

Today starts the enforceable Face Covering order in San Francisco, Alameda, Sonoma, Marin, San Mateo, and Contra Costa counties. This means face coverings such as: face masks, bandanas, buff, or cloth that covers nose and mouth need be worn out in public areas and visiting essential businesses. 

With this new order in place, it’s important that you are wearing your mask properly to ensure the safety of you and others. One of our Surgeons at SAGE Concord, Dr. Lissa Richardson has provided here tips below on wearing a mask safely. She has been wearing surgical masks at work for the last 36 years, so she knows her stuff! 

Tips for wearing a mask safely:

  • Different face types need different masks. It may take some time to find the type that is right for your face.
  • A mask should be a little loose in general, if it is to tight it moves when you speak and then shifts, then people adjust them. The only place it should be snug is across the bridge of the nose or for some, the cheek bones.
  • A mask that ties is easier to get just right. The top tie should be at the crown of your head and the bottom should be a little loose around your neck. See diagram.
  • Before you put on your mask, make sure there is no hair or other particles present on the inside.

Dr. Richardson also says to “ALWAYS, wash or sanitize your hands BEFORE and then AFTER adjusting your mask. Consider the mask a virus accumulator. If you are an asymptomatic carrier, you will enhance the spread of the virus if you adjust your mask frequently. I hope this helps you all find your comfort zone. Please folks: Your health, and that of your friends and family, is at stake here.” 


SAGE Veterinary Centers is an essential business! We are here for you when you need us! SAGE is complying with local county health orders. If you are coming to SAGE to have your pet seen, please ensure you have a face covering on. We take the safety of you, our team members, and communities very seriously. Thank you for your cooperation! 


CDC image: Crown of the head location of the mask tie.


For masks with elastic or ear loops, the back of your ear can get very sore. Here is a link from a nursing organization with clever ideas on how to “save your ears”



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