How to Safely Wear a Face Mask

Medical masks are required at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center and Dartmouth Hitchcock Clinics

Due to high levels of community transmission and record high cases of COVID-19 in New Hampshire and Vermont, anyone entering a Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center and Clinics must wear a medical-grade mask.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that fully vaccinated people wear a mask indoors in public if they are in an area of substantial or high transmission.

The CDC continues to recommend universal source control measures in health care settings, regardless of vaccination. In addition, masks are still required when traveling by plane, train, or bus, regardless of vaccination.

We continue to require mask use inside all facilities, without regard to vaccination status. Our policy will continue to apply to all staff, patients, visitors, and any others entering our facilities.

What mask should you wear?

Masking is an important tool that everyone can use to help prevent COVID-19. The CDC continues to recommend that you wear the most protective mask you can and one that fits you properly (without any gaps along the edges or around the nose).

Specialized filtering masks such as N95s and KN95s offer more protection that loosely woven cloth masks. Any mask will be less effective if it doesn’t fit well, if you wear it incorrectly or if you remove it frequently. The CDC's website has updated information dedicated to helping you understand the different kinds of makes and how to best choose a mask that’s right for you.

How to put on a mask

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For a disposable mask, place the colored side facing out.

1. Select the right mask—adult or child (age 12 and under).

2. For disposable mask, place the colored side facing out with the nose wire at the top.


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Place the mask completely over your nose and mouth.

3. Place the mask completely over your nose and mouth. If your mask has a wire nose piece, gently form it into a U shape and make sure it is snug on the bridge of your nose.


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Separate the mask's folds to fit the bottom of the mask under your chin.

4. If your mask has expandable folds, separate them to fit the bottom of the mask under your chin.


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Loop mask ties around your years.

5. Loop ties around your ears then gently press the nose wire again over nose and cheekbones to make sure it is tight across your face and tucked under your chin.

Always remember....

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Wash and sanitize your hands before putting on a mask.

Wash and sanitize your hands

Wash and sanitize your hands before putting on your face covering.


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Place the mask over your nose and mouth completely.

Cover your nose and mouth

Always place the mask over your nose and mouth completely and secure it under your chin. Try to fit it snugly against the sides of your face.


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Make sure you can breathe easily after fitting your mask to your face.

Breathe easily

Make sure you can breathe easily after fitting your mask to your face.