Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates for UC San Diego Health patients and visitors. Learn More


Wearing Is Caring: Keeping Each Other Safe During COVID-19

Along with social distancing and frequent hand washing, masks are a simple, yet effective, way to slow the spread of COVID-19.

To protect our patients and health care workers, we require the use of face coverings in all our facilities. It’s one of the steps that we can all take to keep our community healthy. 

Masks must be worn at all times in public areas and in patient rooms at our hospitals, clinics and labs. 

Visitors and patients may wear their own cloth mask if it is clean and well-fitting. Your nose, mouth and chin should be covered. If you don’t have a mask that fits properly, we will provide one for you.

Video: How to Properly Wear a Face Mask


How to Safely Put On and Remove Face Masks

  • Clean/sanitize your hands before putting on a mask and after touching it.
  • Place the mask on your face and pull the straps behind your ears.
  • Expand the mask so that it covers your mouth, nose and chin. It should be loose enough to allow you to breathe but still secure enough to stay in place.
  • Make sure you can talk easily and that the mask doesn’t irritate you, so you are not tempted to touch it or pull it out of place, which would reduce its effectiveness.
  • If you touch the front of the mask, immediately sanitize your hands.
  • To remove your used mask, hold only the ear loops/straps.
  • Dispose of the mask in a trash can, or wash it if it’s a reusable face covering.

Tips for using hospital-provided surgical masks:

  • Surgical masks must be worn with the blue side facing out.
  • Pinch the metal edge of the mask so it presses gently on your nose bridge.
  • Crossing the ear loops to create a circle for your ears to go in may help the mask fit better and decrease fogging for those who wear glasses.

FAQs on Wearing Face Masks

Research shows masks can prevent the transmission of the virus and help save lives. You can show that you care about your health with a simple piece of fabric. Here are some frequently asked questions about when and how to properly use a face covering.

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What are the different types of masks?

When should I wear a mask?

My mask keeps moving up toward my eyes; how do I fix this?

How often do I need to wash a reusable mask?

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