Use of Masks and Gloves

The spread of COVID-19 from person to person is mainly through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, talks, shouts, or sings.

Face coverings or masks are intended to limit the risk of the wearer exposing someone to undetected illnesses or infections, including COVID-19. Face masks can be either medical, or non-medical. Medical masks include disposable surgical masks and may be required in certain situations and/or locations on campus. Non-medical masks can be disposable or reusable manufactured or home-made cloth coverings. Your supervisor will be able to advise you as to the appropriate mask to be worn.

Disposable non-sterile gloves are commonly worn in laboratory settings when working with chemicals and or biohazardous material. They may also be worn for cleaning and disinfecting environmental surfaces with chemical disinfectants. In these types of situations at UPEI, gloves are provided as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) by the appropriate department. During the pandemic, gloves may be worn for additional purposes, as authorized by area supervisors.

The directives for wearing masks and gloves while at UPEI can be found in UPEI’s Operational Ease Back Plan. Supervisors can request PPE including masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer from Health, Safety, and Environment at

How to don (put on) a face mask:

  • Wash hands with soap and water or apply hand sanitizer.
  • Inspect the mask prior to donning for any damage.
  • If the mask has a metal piece, hold the mask so that this is at the top.
  • Place loops over ears, position top of mask over nose, and pull bottom edge of mask down to cover chin. Try to fit it snugly against the sides of your face.
  • Gently form the metal strip (if present) over the nose.
  • Wash hands with soap and water.

How to doff (remove) a face mask:

  • Wash hands with soap and water or apply hand sanitizer.
  • Remove face mask by grasping ear loops and pulling away in a downward direction from the face. Do not touch the front of the mask when removing the mask.
  • Both medical and non-medical disposable masks can be disposed of after single use or stored for another use. 
  • If wet, soiled, or otherwise damaged, it should be disposed of after use by discarding directly into a garbage container. 
  • If not wet, soiled, hard to breathe through, or otherwise damaged or knowingly contaminated, the mask be reused.
  • If reused, store in a clean labelled plastic or paper bag. The bag should be kept in a secure, dry location.  If plastic, the bag must not be sealed. Reusing masks when possible will help conserve supplies.
  • Non-medical fabric masks should be washed daily.
    • Masks can be included with regular laundry.
    • Use regular laundry detergent and the warmest appropriate water setting for the cloth used to make the mask.
    • Masks can be placed in the dryer or air dried before reuse.
  • Wash or sanitize hands after the mask has been removed and properly disposed of or stored.

For a visual demonstration from the Public Health Agency of Canada, watch How to wear a non-medical mask or face covering

Mask DOs and DON’Ts

  • DO cover your mouth and nose with the mask.
  • DO make sure that the mask fits closely to the face. There should not be large gaps between the edge of the mask and the face.
  • DON’T touch the mask while wearing and avoid touching your face. If you do touch your mask or face, you should immediately wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds, or use a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
  • DON’T remove your mask to talk to someone.
  • DON’T place a mask on counters, desks, computers, etc.
  • DON’T share your mask.
  • DON’T put the face mask around your neck or on your forehead.

How to don (put on) disposable gloves:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water, or hand sanitizer, and dry them thoroughly.
  • Remove one glove from the package and inspect it to be sure no pin holes or tears are present.
  • Insert five fingers into the cuff and pull the cuff over the wrist.
  • Check for a secure fit around the fingers and palm. The cuff should fit snugly around the wrist. Repeat for the other hand.
  • For a demonstration on how to don gloves, please watch the video.

How to doff (remove) disposable gloves:

  • Grasp the outside edge of the glove near the wrist, without touching the skin.
  • Peel the glove away from the hand, turning it inside out. Hold it in a ball in the opposite gloved hand.
  • Slide two ungloved fingers under the wrist of the remaining glove, being careful not to touch the outside of the glove.
  • Peel the remaining glove off from the inside, creating a “bag” containing both gloves. Discard.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water, or with hand sanitizer.
  • For a demonstration on how to doff gloves please watch the video. (link to

Glove DOs and DON’Ts

  • DON’T touch your face or adjust PPE with contaminated gloves.
  • DON’T remove one glove, and then pull the other glove off by the fingertips.
  • DON’T reuse disposable gloves once they have been removed.
  • DO change gloves when heavily soiled or if torn.
  • DO dispose of used gloves appropriately.
  • DO wash hands after removing gloves.