Why Wear a Mask You Ask?

Written by Rebecca Saunders


Australians within our state of NSW have been strongly encouraged by the government and Health Experts to wear masks whenever physical distancing is not possible.

In July 2020 Victoria suffered a second spike in COVID-19 cases after the restrictions had eased and the numbers have grown rapidly in select states. NSW currently has recorded a growing number of cases and Australians have been reminded to remain vigilant, continue to follow hygienic practices to avoid community transmission, and effectively help to slow the spread.

Wearing face masks may help to protect our Instructors and our student drivers from droplets when someone coughs, speaks or sneezes, and are less than 1.5 meters away from them (especially within a vehicle). Wearing a mask will also help to protect if you are infected with the virus, but do not have symptoms of infection. When thinking about whether you should be wearing a face mask.

Consider the following:

  • Face masks may protect you when it is not possible to maintain the 1.5-metre physical distance.
  • Do you have respiratory illness or a weakened immune system?  People in these groups may get more severe illness if they are infected with COVID-19
  • Wearing a face mask will reduce the spread of droplets from your coughs and sneezes to others (however, if you have any cold or flu-like symptoms or feel unwell, you should stay home)
  • A face mask will not provide you with complete protection from COVID-19. You should also ensure that you do what else is necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19.


What can you do to prevent the spread of COVID-19?Stopping the spread of COVID-19 is everyone’s responsibility. The most important things that you can do to protect yourself and others are to:

  • Stay at home when you are feeling unwell, with even mild respiratory symptoms
  • Regularly wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser
  • Do not touch your face
  • Do not touch surfaces that may be contaminated with the virus
  • Cover your mouth when you cough by coughing into your elbow, or into a tissue. Throw the tissue away immediately.


How to put on and take off a mask: When you wear a face mask some things to remember are:

  • Clean your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
  • Hold the mask by its tapes or loops, then tie the mask around your head or put the loops around your ears.
  • Take the mask off from behind your head by pulling the tapes or loops straight forward and moving the mask away from your face.
  • Make sure the mask covers your mouth and nose, and that there are no gaps between your face and the mask, and press the nose piece around your nose.
  • Do not touch the front of the mask while wearing it.
  • Throw the mask in the bin.
  • clean your hands thoroughly once again.


 Choosing a mask:

You can use a cloth mask or a surgical mask. Surgical masks can only be used once. You can wash and reuse cloth masks. Face coverings such as scarves may not offer the same level of protection. You can buy a mask that covers your nose and mouth completely. When you put on or take off the mask, it is important that you wash your hands first and avoid touching your face. After each use, wash the cloth or dispose of it safely.

Let’s all do our part to help stop the spread and encourage your friends and family to do the same by wearing a mask and safeguarding others. The Health and safety of our driving community is our main focus and highest priority.

Take care and drive safely.

 

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