The Dos and Don'ts of Wearing a Face Covering

April 18, 2020

Starting April 17, all New Yorkers have been ordered by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to wear a face covering or mask when out in public or in situations where physical distancing cannot be maintained (e.g., public transportations or grocery stores).

The CDC also recently recommended that all Americans use simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus from asymptomatic carriers to others.

Susannah Hills, MD, assistant professor of otolaryngology/head & neck surgery at the Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, provides tips in the video below about making a homemade face covering, what materials to use, and how to don, doff, and care for your mask.


The reason for wearing a mask, Hills says, "is really to protect the people around you."

"We know about 25% of people who are carrying COVID-19 may not have symptoms, so you could have it and not even know. If you're coughing, sneezing, or even talking, you can [expel] droplets that might spread the virus to countertops, to groceries, to doorknobs, to things that other people can touch."