Study Shows Coronavirus Can Stay on Face Masks for Up to a Week So Wash Your Reusable Masks Often
Yesterday, we told you to treat your reusable mask as though its an underwear.
Basically, you should wash your reusable mask after every use with warm water and soap.
But if, for some reason, you need to be convinced even more, here it is:
According to a studyconducted by researchers from the University of Hong Kong, they found that the Covid-19 virus can stick to the outer layer of a mask for up to a week.
They’ve conducted the tests on various surfaces and recorded how long the virus can stay “alive” on them at room temperature:
Printing and tissue paper: Less than three hours (so you can be assured that your letters and parcels won’t transmit the virus)
Treated wood and cloth: Disappeared by the second day
Glass and banknotes: Gone by the fourth day, still there on the second day
Stainless steel and plastic: 4 to 7 days
The outer layer of a mask: up to a week
Now, while the study seems to be focused on surgical masks, even if we were to assume that our reusable masks belong to the category of “treated wood and cloth”, it simply means that after every use, your reusable mask has the potential to transmit the virus to you if you’re not careful.
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Their research also showed that the Covid-19 virus is relatively easy to get rid of.
Common household disinfectants, such as bleach, are effective at getting rid of Covid-19.
Singapore’s National Environment Agency (NEA) has previously released a list of household products that are great at removing the Covid-19 virus.
The researchers also found that the concentration of Covid-19 virus reduces rapidly over time.
Mr Leo Poon Lit-man, head of the public health laboratory sciences division says that if people want to be safer, they can leave non-perishable food items in the shopping bag until the next day.
This will greatly reduce the concentration (and the risk) of Covid-19.
Even if you were to wash your reusable mask every day, it doesn’t mean that you’re safe.
Because the greatest danger is you touching the surface of your mask, then touching your face (ears, eyes or nose) and introducing the Covid-19 virus into your body.
So the best defence still remains: Wash your hands frequently with soap and carry around a bottle of alcohol-based hand sanitiser (if you have).
If not, just try to get rid of the habit of touching your face.
You can do your part as a responsible citizen through helping out in contact tracing by downloading the TraceTogether app.
In the meantime, keep yourself updated by bookmarking MOH’s website here and registering for the Gov.sg’s WhatsApp service here.
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