How to Wear a Mask


Southern California is experiencing high rates of COVID-19, flu, and RSV. These three respiratory illnesses can all cause severe illness. We ask that everyone ages 2 and older wear a mask in indoor public spaces. This includes transit, retail, event venues, schools, and worksites when around others.

Now is the time to mask!

  • During the winter surge, everyone age 2 and older is asked to wear a mask in indoor public spaces.
  • In order to work well, a mask needs to have both a good fit and good filtration. A good fit means that the mask covers your mouth and nose and fits snugly against the sides of your face and your nose. Good filtration means the material that the mask is made of blocks the virus well. You can get good filtration by wearing a mask that has several layers made of certain materials.
  • While all masks provide some level of protection, well-fitting respirators (e.g., N95 and KN95) provide the best protection. Wearing a highly protective mask is important for high risk situations and for people at increased risk for severe disease.

*Infants and children under 2 years of age should not wear a mask. Children ages 2 to 8 should wear a mask only when under adult supervision. See Who should not wear a mask and Special considerations for persons with communication difficulties or certain disabilities for other exceptions.

How wearing a mask can slow the spread of COVID-19

COVID-19 spreads when an infected person breathes out droplets and very small particles that contain the virus. These droplets and particles can then be breathed in by other people or land on their eyes, noses, or mouth.

  • Masks protect others by containing the droplets and particles you breathe, cough, or sneeze out. And, if the mask fits closely to your face and filters well, it protects you from particles spread by others.
  • Respirators filter very well and fit closely to your face, so they protect you from particles spread by others. They also protect others by containing droplets and particles that you breathe, cough, or sneeze out.

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