A Victoria nurse is reminding people that wearing a mask under one’s nose or chin offers no protection. (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)

A Victoria nurse is reminding people that wearing a mask under one’s nose or chin offers no protection. (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)

Masks don’t offer protection when worn improperly, Victoria nurse reminds people

Masks need to be secured “above the nose, below the chin and tight to your cheeks,” says nurse

While plenty of Greater Victoria residents have gotten into the habit of mask wearing, far fewer have established the routine of wearing them properly.

Nurse and University of Victoria professor, Debra Sheets, says she sees people wearing masks improperly every time she goes out.

She emphasized that wearing a mask under one’s nose, mouth or chin defeats the purpose of wearing a mask at all.

“It may be easier for you to breathe, but you’re more likely to get infected by the virus,” Sheets said.

She explained that in order for masks to protect people they need to be secured “above the nose, below the chin and tight to your cheeks.”

Disposable masks need to be thrown out after each use and reusable masks need to be washed every day, Sheets added.

READ ALSO: Dispose of your face masks safely, top doctor urges Canadians

People also need to be washing or sanitizing their hands before putting their mask on and after taking it off, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“I think here on the Island we get a sense of complacency because we are more isolated than larger cities,” Sheets said “But, we are seeing a rise in cases.”

As of Oct. 6, there are 11 active cases of COVID-19 on Vancouver Island, according to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.

According to federal data from Sept. 20, B.C. had the highest number of active COVID-19 cases per capita in Canada.

READ ALSO: B.C. has highest number of active COVID-19 cases per capita, federal data shows

“As a community we need to come together,” Sheets said.

Noting Thanksgiving this weekend, she said people need to be limiting their gatherings to people in their household.

“You think your family is safe, but if they’re not living in your household, you shouldn’t be gathering,” she added.

Dr. Bonnie Henry has recommended that families connect through virtual means for festivities this year.


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