UNIVERSAL MASKING

On April 3, Governor Wolf recommended that all Pennsylvanians wear a mask if they must leave their homes.

Members of the general public don’t need a surgical mask – we need those for our health care workers and first responders. Instead, they are encouraged to wear homemade fabric or cloth masks.

Homemade masks limit the spread of infectious droplets in the air by containing coughs and sneezes. When a homemade mask can’t be acquired a scarf or bandana can be utilized. By implementing community use of these homemade fabric or cloth masks, everyone will have a higher degree of protection from this virus.

When to Wear a Mask

Those who are staying home and have no close contacts who are infected with COIVID-19 don’t need a mask most of the time. However, wearing a nonmedical or homemade mask may be helpful in certain situations or for certain populations.

Because homemade masks protect everyone else from the droplets created by the wearer, it is important that as many people as possible wear these masks when leaving their homes.

This helps prevent those who may be infectious but are only mildly symptomatic or not symptomatic from spreading the virus to others in the community.

Everyone should remember the phrase: “My mask protects you; your mask protects me.” By increasing the overall number of people who are containing their coughs, sneezes, and other droplets, it will help us control the overall spread of the virus.

Best Practices for Homemade Masks

The best practices for making and wearing fabric or cloth masks include:

How to Make a Homemade Mask

 

Here’s how to make a mask at home.

Materials needed:

Instructions:

Check out this New York Times article for more tips on how to make your own homemade mask.

On Medical Masks

Do not purchase masks designed for health care professionals. N95 and surgical masks are designed
to protect those who are working in high risk situations with a likelihood of exposure. Instead, make
your own mask or purchase one from an online small business.

Businesses should consider purchasing homemade or cloth masks for their employees as part of their
uniform or in recognition of good public health practices. Businesses should also consider non-punitive policies that encourage employees to wear masks while at work.

Find out more about the difference between homemade masks and masks for health care professionals.

Help Stop the Spread

Wear A Mask in Public

Members of the public are encouraged to wear homemade cloth or fabric masks. Save surgical masks and N95 respirators  for our health care workers and first responders. Remember this saying: "My mask protects you, your mask protects me." 

Wear a mask when:

How to make a homemade mask:


Materials needed:

Instructions:

Unable to sew? Follow these simple instructions for a no-sew maskOpens In A New Window.

Help spread the message on social media by downloading and sharing these What Type of Mask do I Need? and How to Make a Homemade Mask graphics. Learn more about universal masking

Find out more about the difference between homemade masks and masks for health care professionals.

Wash Your Hands 

Washing your hands is one of the most important steps you can take in staying healthy. When you wash, make sure you: 

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap. 
  2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails. 
  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the "Happy Birthday" song from beginning to end twice. 
  4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water. 
  5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them. Washing hands with soap and water is the best way to get rid of germs in most situations. 

If soap and water are not readily available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. 

Cover Your Mouth and Nose 

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your elbow when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend the routine use of face masks and respirators in the community. Most often, the spread of germs from person-to-person happens among close contacts (within 6 feet).

Video: Six ways to protect yourself against COVID-19

Avoid Touching Your Face 

Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.

Clean Surfaces 

Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces  — especially when someone is ill.

Practice Social Distancing

Updated 4/15/20 - Sources (1)(2)