The best way to stop the spread of COVID-19 is through preventative measures, such as physical distancing and frequent hand washing.
If you're healthy or sick, wearing a non-medical mask is another measure that may help protect others around you.
Where you have to wear a mask in Yukon?
You have to wear a mask in a Yukon airport building or terminal. You may be asked to wear a mask in a health centre, hospital or long-term care facility.
What is a non-medical mask?
A non-medical mask is any mask that may be homemade or commercially made. The mask is not regulated for medical use.
If you're sick
People who are sick with symptoms of respiratory infection should stay at home. Sick people can wear masks to help stop the spread of disease to other people. The mask acts as a barrier and can help stop tiny droplets from spreading when you cough, sneeze and speak.
A mask does not replace the need for physical distancing and hand washing. It can help stop the spread of disease if you cannot distance yourself from others in your home.
The World Health Organization recommends that a person with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19:
- wear a medical mask;
- self-isolate; and
- seek medical advice.
If you're healthy
If you're healthy, wearing a non-medical mask or face covering (including cloth masks) is a personal choice. It can help protect others.
Some people infected with COVID-19 may have very mild symptoms. Or, at times, no symptoms at all, but they may be able to spread COVID-19. A non-medical mask can help to protect others by containing droplets made when you sneeze, cough and speak.
A cloth mask will not protect you from COVID-19. But, it's a good option in situations where you cannot maintain physical distance.
If you choose to wear a mask
Non-medical masks or face covering should:
- allow for easy breathing;
- fit securely to your head with ties or ear loops;
- maintain their shape after washing and drying;
- be changed as soon as possible if damp or dirty;
- be comfortable;
- be made of at least 2 layers of tightly woven material fabric, such as cotton or linen (do not use plastic or other non-breathable material); and
- be large enough to completely and comfortably cover the nose and mouth without gaping.
Children and masks or face coverings
Do not put a mask or any other covering, including face shields, visors and eye protection, on children under 2 years of age. A baby's airway is small and the mask will make if difficult for them to breathe. If these items come off, they are at risk of being a choking hazard.
How to put on your non-medical mask or face covering
- Wash your hands:
- in soap and water for at least 20 seconds; or
- with a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
- Inspect the mask and make sure it's clean and dry.
- Make sure your hair is away from your face.
- Place the mask or face covering over your nose and mouth and secure to your head or ears with the ties or elastic loops.
- Wash your hands.
While wearing a mask, it's important that you try not to touch the mask. If you do touch your mask or face, make sure you immediately wash your hands.
How to remove your non-medical mask or face covering
All masks and face coverings should be removed and changed if they become damp or soiled. Homemade or cloth masks should be cleaned and changed often. Breakdown of the material, holes and damage to cloth masks will further reduce their protective benefits.
- Wash your hands.
- If you're disposing of your mask, place it into a wastebasket lined with a plastic bag.
- If you plan to reuse your mask, remove the mask and place into the washing machine. You can also place the mask into a plastic bag if you do not have immediate access to a washing machine.
- Wash your hands.
How to clean your homemade mask or face covering
- Wash it according to the directions of the original material; warmer water is better.
- Dry completely, if possible, in a dryer and on a warm or hot setting.
- Do not shake dirty masks in order to minimize the spread of germs and particles.
Find more information
These trusted organizations provide accurate information about masks and face coverings.
How to make your own cloth mask
Download patterns from the Government of Canada.
Download our hand washing sign to put up in your workplace or in your home.
Download our physical distancing posters to put up in your workplace or your home.