#MaskUpUtah: Wear a Mask to Protect Others

Intermountain Healthcare, in collaboration with Utah’s four largest healthcare systems, are joining together in a collaborative effort to encourage the use of face masks in public and work settings throughout the state during the COVID-19 pandemic, #MASKUPUTAH. Here are some frequently asked questions related to wearing masks, and helpful resources on masks.

Why should I wear a mask? I feel fine.

Many people who are actively spreading COVID-19 may have very mild or no symptoms. Because they feel fairly well, they do not realize that they need to self-isolate. Wearing a mask while at work and in public settings will help curb community spread.

I've seen on social media that wearing a mask doesn't make any difference.

A lot of misinformation has been spreading recently about facial masking. However, clinicians agree that both cloth masks and surgical masks block nearly all droplets coming in from outside sources as well as droplets secreted by the wearer. These types of masks also provide some level of protection from aerosol secretions, ranging from 50-90% depending upon the material of the mask. N95 masks used in medical and industrial settings provide an even higher level of protection. Read about mask misconceptions here.

Wear a mask risk of spread

How do I wear a mask?

Start by placing your mask over your mouth and nose with clean hands, then tie it behind your head or loop behind your ears, making sure it fits snugly. Make sure to cover your nose and your mouth. Once in place, avoid touching your mask. Remove your mask by untying or lifting from the ear loops, avoiding touching the front of the mask or your face. Wash your hands immediately after removing.

What kind of mask should I be wearing?

All masks offer some level of protection. You don’t need a N95 mask to make a difference. In fact, save N95s for healthcare workers. Surgical masks and a variety of cloth masks are readily available.

I don't have a mask. Where can I get one?

If you don’t have a mask, check out the “Mask for Every Utahn” initiative offered by the State of Utah in partnership with the Utah Manufacturers Association. This initiative is designed to help Utahns who may not have a face mask and are returning to the workplace or going out in public.

How can I protect myself?

The best way to protect yourself from contracting coronaviruses is by using the same daily habits that help prevent the spread of many viruses, including the common cold and the flu. To help prevent the spread of disease always:

  • Wear a cloth face covering in public places where it’s hard to keep a six-foot distance from other people. Face coverings, combined with other preventive measures, such as frequent hand-washing and social distancing, can help slow the spread of disease.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water frequently. Wash with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If soap and water aren't available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home when you’re sick (and keep sick children home from school).
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands. If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.