On Apr. 3, the CDC issued a recommendation that everyone age 2 and older wear a cloth face covering while in public settings where it’s difficult to stay 6 ft from others—for example, a pharmacy or grocery store. Click here to see the full recommendation.
- This recommendation does not take the place of staying home. The directive to stay at home, except for essential activities, remains critical in slowing the spread of COVID-19.
- Coverings can be made from materials you may already have, like a cotton bandana or t-shirt. To see instructions for sewn and non-sewn masks, click here.
- Do not put a mask on children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious, or anyone unable to remove a mask without assistance.
- N-95 and surgical masks should be reserved for healthcare workers. If you have these in your home, consider donating.
- It’s important to avoid touching a mask while wearing it. Remove it by its ties, put it in the laundry, and wash your hands.
- Continue washing hands often.
Never worn a face mask before? You’re not alone! Check out these additional tips for making, wearing, and washing a face covering:
Making a cloth mask
Follow the link above to instructions for making sewn and non-sewn masks.
- fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
- include multiple layers of fabric (some patterns allow a pocket to insert a cut coffee filter or vacuum bag filter)
- allow for breathing without restriction
- be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape
While wearing a mask
- Avoid touching the front of your mask while wearing it. (If droplets from others’ coughs, sneezes, or breathe land on your mask, touching it can transfer them to your hands.)
- Do not pull a mask down to eat and then pull it back up.
- Continuing to wash hands often. This is critical to protecting yourself, your family, and your community. (Gloves as a covering in everyday life are counterproductive when they replace handwashing.)
Removing a mask
- Remove your mask by the ties/elastic without touching the front of it.
- Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth while removing mask.
- Wash your mask after each use—don’t tuck it in a bag or lay it on surfaces. Masks can be washed in hot water and in the same way you wash clothes.
- After touching a used mask, wash your hands.