DC community mask audit shows most wear masks but not all wear correctly

D.C.'s top health leader says that while the majority of people observed in a recent community mask audit amid the COVID-19 pandemic were wearing their face coverings, not all of them were wearing them correctly.

Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt, director of the District's Department of Health, said the mask audit was conducted between Nov. 18 and Dec. 9 in 151 locations around D.C. to observe patterns of mask wearing.

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Of the 4250 people observed, 78 percent met the D.C. mask guidance criteria, 83 percent had a mask visible, however, only 72 percent wore their masks correctly, Nesbitt said.

The percent of incorrect mask usage was highest among adolescents between five and 18 years old. Nesbitt said that 79 percent of females wore their masks correctly while only 67 percent of males did the same.

Nesbitt said the highest percentage of individuals wearing their masks correctly were in Ward 2 while the lowest were in Ward 7.


Wash your hands before putting on your mask

Put it over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin

Try to fit it snugly against the sides of your face

Make sure you can breathe easily

Do not place a mask on a child younger than 2


Untie the strings behind your head or stretch the ear loops

Handle only by the ear loops or ties

Fold outside corners together

Place covering in the washing machine

Wash your hands with soap and water

Here's how the CDC says to safely and correctly wear and remove your mask.


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