Basseterre, St. Kitts, May 21, 2020 (SKNIS): Wearing face masks while in public is now part of the new normal in St. Kitts and Nevis as it is in many countries around the world. A wide variety of face masks are frequently seen, from designer to home-made to medical-related.

A single question often accompanies the varying designs. Which side is out? Which side is in? Does it even matter? As it relates to surgical masks, Dr Cameron Wilkinson, Medial Chief of Staff at the Joseph N. France General Hospital, said yes it does.

The surgical mask is colour-coded. Where the outside is usually blue, and the inside is white,” he stated, at the National Emergency Operation Centre Daily Briefing on May 20, 2020.

Dr Wilkinson explained that a surgical mask has three layers. The outer or coloured layer repels substances such as liquids. That way if blood or droplets come into contact with the front, the wearer is protected. The middle layer acts as a filter which helps to contain bacteria and microorganisms. The white or inner layer absorbs moisture that comes from the mouth, skin or nose of the user.

The Medical Chief of Staff added that the mask usually comes with a metal strip at the top. That strip should be bent to the shape of the wearer’s nose so that it fits snugly.

I am telling everyone, you should never wear the mask with the coloured portion inwards. There is only one way, the coloured portion out, the white portion in,” Dr Wilkinson said.