Returning to Campus: Tips for Wearing and Cleaning Face Coverings

Wearing a face covering and cleaning it properly is useful in slowing the spread of the coronavirus.
Wearing a face covering is useful in slowing the spread of the coronavirus.

Wearing a face covering is useful in slowing the spread of the coronavirus.

When combined with physical distancing and regular hand washing, wearing a face covering is useful in slowing the spread of the coronavirus. As of July 15, the University System of Georgia (USG) requires all students, faculty, staff, and visitors to wear a face covering while inside campus facilities where 6 feet of physical distancing may not always be possible. Environmental Health and Safety is providing two reusable face coverings to all students, faculty, and staff when they return to campus. Here are some tips for wearing and cleaning them.

  • When wearing a mask, make sure the top of it comes close to the bridge of your nose, and the bottom goes under your chin. Tighten the loops or ties so that it fits snugly around your face, with no gaps.
  • It’s good to have several masks. This allows for the rotation of masks and time to wash between wears. All members of the Georgia Tech community will be provided two reusable face coverings.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends washing cloth face coverings after each use. They can be machine washed or cleaned by hand, using regular laundry soap and the warmest water setting appropriate for the cloth used to make the face covering. If using a washing machine, the masks may be put in with the rest of the laundry. If using bleach or hydrogen peroxide when washing it, be aware that chemicals will degrade the fibers of the face covering, making it less effective over time. You can put them in a dryer (on low heat) or let them air dry.
  • If you cannot wash the face covering after each use, health officials suggest putting a worn mask safely out of reach. Studies have found that viruses usually decay faster on fabric or other porous materials than on hard materials like plastic or metal.

Do not:

  • Wear the mask below your nose.
  • Leave your chin exposed.
  • Wear it too loosely.
  • Pull the mask down and let it rest under your chin.

If you are alone or safely distanced from others and need to remove your mask, take if off completely instead of resting it under your chin. Your neck area may have been exposed to the virus, and putting the mask there may contaminate it.


  • Wash your hands before and after wearing a mask.
  • Use the loops or ties to put on and take off your mask. (Do not pull the front of the mask to remove it.)


Remember, the virus spreads mainly among people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet). The use of cloth face coverings is especially important in those situations or when it is difficult to maintain physical distancing.

For information on Covid-19 PPE and supplies distribution see here.

For more tips to stay healthy, see the preventive resources section of the Stamps Health Services site here.

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