WEST SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- With so many people gathering to protest and with the state starting to reopen...many are beginning to venture out more.

The Mass. Department of Public Health is stressing, it is still critical to wear a face-covering when social distancing is not possible, but apparently, many are wearing masks the wrong way.

It's become the norm, but if you're not wearing it correctly...experts have said many of us still aren't.

The CDC and health care professionals, including West Springfield AFC's urgent care physician assistant Louise Cardellina report you're not doing anyone, any good.

"I know this is hard, we've got to just try to stick with it as we prevent the virus from spreading from person to person. We're slowing down how bad it might be if it comes back again," Cardellina explained.

What are we doing wrong? The CDC said it's all about the fit.

Cardellina told Western Mass News first, put your mask on by the ear loops and then make sure it covers from the bridge of your nose, to underneath your chin.

Don't leave your nose exposed and don't even leave the tip of your nose exposed...

"That's not doing anything because you're still breathing in and out with your nose and the virus could very well be in there," Cardellina noted.

Don't leave your chin exposed, make sure it's not loose, and don't fiddle with the mask while it's on.

"Let's say I'm out in town and holding a handrail or opening a door, my hands are no longer clean and if I start doing that, with my contaminated hands, the virus might be on my hands, then my face mask and the virus is like, right there," Cardellina explained.

Don't use it as a neck covering...pulling it down in-between, said the grocery store and the pharmacy.

Take it off the way you put it on...with the ear loops.

Cardellina told us if, for example, you're in the grocery aisle by yourself, or in a medical office waiting room...that is not the time to take a breather.

"I appreciate that people are bringing their masks, but when you're in the room by yourself waiting for me to come in, that's not the time to take the mask off," she said. "Same idea. You're breathing, any matter's going to come out and be in the air," Cardellina explained.

The CDC said single-use masks are just that...and should not be used twice. Those cloth face coverings should be washed and thrown into the dryer after every single use.

Copyright 2020 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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