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4/7/2020 - Slowing the Spread of COVID-19: Using Face Coverings to Protect Others

In accordance with new guidance from the CDC and the LA County Department of Public Health, Caltech recommends the following regarding face coverings for all members of the campus community.

  • Use face coverings/masks to reduce the risk of shedding droplets from your mouth and nose.
  • The recommended face coverings/masks WILL NOT protect you from inhaling harmful viruses, but prevents you from shedding droplets from your mouth/nose into the surrounding environments.
  • Use the face coverings/masks anytime you are in close proximity to others or when entering spaces where you can contaminate shared surfaces.
  • Continue to practice physical distancing of at least 6 feet even with the face coverings/masks on.
  • Wash your hands frequently, and do not touch your mouth, nose, eyes or ears without first washing your hands.

Use your own reusable face covering/mask or bandana. If you do not have a mask or bandana, Caltech will issue you a suitable face covering/mask. Decontaminate your own reusable face covering/mask or bandana daily, using one of the methods in the last section of this document.

The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. These items are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance. A link below provides instruction on DIY masks.

Face Covering/Mask Fitting Instructions:

  • Wash your hands before and after handling the face covering/mask.
  • Make sure to secure your face covering/mask properly. The face covering/mask should cover your face, from the top of your nose to underneath the chin.
  • Limit contact with the exterior surface of the mask.

Storage and Care of Face Covering

CAUTION: It is critical that your face covering is handled in a manner that does not lead to contamination of other surfaces or items.

  • Store face covering/mask in a manner to avoid cross contamination between the front and back of the face covering/mask and that it prevents cross contaminating surfaces or other materials.
  • Decontaminating reusable cloth type face coverings/masks are found in the guidance below:

LA County Public Health's "Guidance for Cloth Face Coverings"

CDC's "Use of Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19"

DYI Home made cloth face coverings