Do This With Your Mask Before Thanksgiving Dinner

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Woman putting on a face mask
Bricolage /

If you plan to gather for Thanksgiving dinner this year, chances are good that you will be wearing a mask before dinner. But the mask will have to come down once you are ready to eat.

So, what should you do with your face covering during Thanksgiving dinner — or any time you plan to eat, for that matter? Store it safely, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The key thing is to keep it clean.

The CDC suggests two ways to store your mask after you remove it from your face to eat or drink.

If your mask is dry and clean

Clean, dry masks you will be wearing again can be stored in a dry, breathable bag — such as a paper or mesh fabric bag. Remove it from your face, insert into the bag and wash your hands.

When you put the mask back on, remember to keep the same side of the mask facing out as when you wore it previously. Wash your hands again after you have put the mask back on.

If you don’t have a bag handy, try to store the mask in a place where it will stay clean, such as a pocket or purse.

If your mask is wet or dirty

Masks that are wet or dirty — such as from sweat, saliva, makeup or any liquid — should be removed from your face and stored in a plastic bag. Do not keep them in the bag for long, lest they become moldy.

Wash these masks as soon as you can. We have advice for washing cloth face coverings in “Make Sure to Wash Your Mask This Way.”

Because masks often get wet or dirty, it is best to carry more than one mask with you so you will not be forced to use a contaminated mask.

For more tips on getting the most out of your mask, check out:

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