Mask care during winter months

By Janice Erdlitz, Lyster Army Health ClinicJanuary 26, 2021

That mask you’re wearing is not only protecting you from illness, it might even be keeping you a little warmer this winter. Following these simple recommendations will keep your mask safe to wear.

According to the CDC, in cold weather, masks may become wet from breathing, rain, or other precipitation:

  • Change a mask when it becomes wet. A wet mask is harder to breathe through, is less efficient at filtering, and vents more around the edges of the mask. It is especially important to have one or more replacement masks during cold weather. If your reusable mask becomes wet, put it in a sealed plastic bag until you can wash it.
  • Scarves and other headwear such as ski masks and balaclavas used for warmth are usually made of loosely knit fabrics that are not suitable for use as masks to prevent COVID-19 transmission. They can be worn over a mask.
  • If you wear glasses, find a mask that fits closely over your nose or has a nose wire to help reduce fogging.

It’s important to remember your reusable masks should be washed regularly.

Maj. Dorma Sanders, Lyster Army Health Clinic’s Chief of Public Health, reminds personnel to “Be sure to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds or use 60% alcohol based hand sanitizer prior to taking your mask off. Also, change your mask if it no longer provides a snug fit. Loose masks can put you at risk.”

Simple measures can protect you and your community. Continue taking everyday actions to prevent the spread of germs.

Protect yourself and others by wearing masks, staying at least 6 feet apart from others, avoiding crowds, ventilating indoor spaces, and washing hands often.

(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

To learn more about how to care for your mask visit,