Face mask warning as SA borders open

With South Australian borders opening to travellers from all Australian states and territories today, Flinders University researchers are concerned poor mask habits may put South Australians at risk.

Working with face mask experts from ASEAN member countries (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) Flinders has been testing the effectiveness of different types of masks.

Professor Karen Reynolds, Director of the Medical Device Research Institute is concerned that South Australians have become complacent with their mask wearing habits due to the low risks we have faced to date.

“People need to remember that disposable masks are just that – their effectiveness starts to decrease after only a few hours of use” says Professor Reynolds.

Associate Professor Kirstin Ross, a Flinders University environmental health expert, has been testing how protective masks are against bacteria and viruses.

“Our testing has shown that even the worst performing community masks filtered at least 50 per cent of aerosolised virus particles,” says Associate Professor Ross.

What are the steps to making sure you are protected from COVID-19?

  1. Always wash or sanitise your hands before putting on your mask.
  2. Place straps around ears and ensure a close fit around your nose and chin.
  3. When you take off your mask using the ear straps, don’t touch the mask itself.
  4. Finally, always wash or dispose of the mask after use

The Medical Device Research Institute, based at Flinders University, Adelaide, conducts world leading collaborative research to deliver innovative solutions to the medical and allied health sector.

The ‘ASEAN Virtual Seminar Series: Personal Protective Equipment for COVID-19’ is supported by the Australian Government through the Australia-ASEAN Council of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

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