Since the beginning of the pandemic, there has been a massive impact on economies across the world, including Australia. Australians have gone through various levels of restrictions to prevent the spread of the virus. However, Victoria has been the most affected state in terms of restrictions. Luckily things have been looking positive for Victorians for the last two months.
The spread of the virus has finally come under control, so far (January 17, 2021) the number of active cases in Victoria had come down to 30. And from Monday, January 18, office workers can increase their on-site worker capacity to 50 per cent. According to public health advice, the capacity of number of on-site workers is most likely to change in late February.
Given the current situation in Victoria, the Victorian Chief Health Officer has recommended that wearing a mask is no longer necessary in certain places.
Should you wear a mask at the office?
As offices are allowed to increase the number of workers on-site, from January 18 more workers can return back to their work. However, the face mask will no longer be mandatory to wear in offices.
However, it is still recommended that you always carry a face mask when leaving your home unless you have a reason that is acceptable. Regarding on-site workers such as construction workers, where keeping a 1.5-meter distance from each other is not possible, wearing a mask is still strictly recommended.
Wearing a face mask is still considered one of the best methods to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Apart from offices wearing masks, it is still mandatory at all Victorian airports, hospitals, public transport, ride-sharing vehicles (taxi), supermarkets, shopping centres, and other large indoor retail stores.
COVID-19 can quickly spread indoors and in settings where you can’t physically distance. So, It is crucial to carry a clean face mask with you at all times and wear it when necessary.
Types of a masks to wear
Generally, there are two types of masks – single-use and reusable cloth masks. Both of these masks can help in preventing the spread of COVID-19.
With the increase in demand for masks in the past few months, you might encounter many masks that don’t meet the necessary standards. Be aware of those masks; only wear a mask that meets the Australian Standard (AS/NZS 1716:2012) or international equivalent. Look for the manufacturer name, trademark and certified licence number on the packaging.
You can always wear a medical mask or mask with N95 filtration rating for better safety. The mask needs to be made with non-woven, melt-blown polypropylene layers, and if you have COVID19 make sure you don’t use a mask with a valve as you will breathe out the virus.
Cloth masks have become popular among many people as they can be reused. They are equally as effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19 if made and worn correctly.
Cloth masks need to be made with at least three layers of fabric. The outer layer needs to be water-resistant polypropylene or polyester fabric, and the middle and inner layer should be high-graded polycotton or cotton. And don’t forget to wash your reusable mask after every use.
For a reliable and safe mask, you should always buy them from reputable manufacturer or supplier like BAD workwear. They have both single-use and reusable mask that are certified and come with a N95 filtration rating. You can buy a 3-layer reusable mask at just $9 or a box of 50 surgical masks with 3ply (polypropylene filtrations layers) at $19. Stay safe and wear masks when necessary.