Can’t keep your distance? Masks can help to keep us safe

We are all being asked to change our behaviour to defeat the spread of COVID-19 including wearing a mask if you can’t maintain the 1.5m physical distance.

The Victorian Chief Health Officer recommends that adults living in areas under Stage 3 restrictions wear a face mask when outside your home if it is difficult to keep 1.5 metres apart from other people.

The best way to stop the spread of COVID-19 is keeping 1.5 metres apart, washing your hands often, and coughing or sneezing into your elbow or tissue.

Wearing a face mask provides an additional physical barrier if you are carrying COVID-19 and helps to reduce community transmission, particularly as some people can be infectious with COVID-19 without displaying any symptoms.

Face masks for general public

Face masks can be cloth masks or single-use face masks – commonly called surgical masks. Both masks are suitable for use to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Cloth masks are any nose and mouth covering made of washable fabric. The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) recommends a cloth mask made of three layers of a mix of breathable fabrics to ensure adequate protection.

Single-use face masks or surgical masks are made with a non-woven meltblown polypropylene layer and available in various levels of protection. These are single use masks only so can’t be washed and used again.

Other types of masks and respirators (such as P2 or N95) are not recommended for use in the community and not advised to be used outside of healthcare or specific industries under health advice.

You can purchase cloth masks or surgical masks from retail outlets including chemists and supermarkets or you can make your own cloth mask.

Make your own cloth mask

DHHS have produced this helpful guide to make a cloth mask made of washable fabric or view a video with step by step instructions.

Safe disposal of face masks

Please dispose of face masks responsibly. They should be placed in a plastic or zip lock bag and placed in the general waste bin.

Face masks mandated for aged care workers

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Commonwealth Government has made it mandatory for aged care workers to wear masks in situations where they are providing personal care or where it is difficult to maintain a physical distance of 1.5m.

In line with this advice, Council’s care workers, home maintenance, meal delivery staff, assessment officers, maternal health and immunisation nurses will now wear masks during appointments in the interest of health and safety for our clients and staff.

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