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.
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
at essential businesses, like grocery stores or pharmacies.
visiting your health care provider.
on public transportation.
with customers/clients at essential businesses.
feeling sick, coughing, or sneezing.
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.
prevent those who may be infectious but are only mildly
symptomatic or not symptomatic from spreading the virus to
others in the community.
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
The best practices for
making and wearing fabric or cloth masks include:
buying materials online to avoid exposure in public places.
masks made by small businesses, saving medical masks for
health care workers.
putting on a mask, clean hands with alcohol-based hand rub
or soap and water.
mask should fit snugly around the mouth and nose.
the mask has a metal wire it should be fitted snuggly to the
bridge of the nose.
touching the mask while using it, if you do wash your hands
with soap and water or
alcohol-based hand rub.
of two layers of tightly woven 100% cotton fabric.
discarded or washed after every use.
not be worn damp or when wet from spit or mucus.
remove the mask: remove it from behind, do not touch the
front of mask.
wearer should immediately wash their hands with soap and
water for 20 seconds after
removing the mask.
How to Make a Homemade
Here’s how to make a
mask at home.
(100% cotton is most effective)
machine or a needle and thread
and cut two pieces of fabric in a rectangle pattern to fit
snugly around the face (size
12 inches by 6 inches is standard for adults).
sew both layers together on all edges.
fabric ties to fit around the ears.
the ties to the insides of the mask on the smaller edge,
repeat on both sides.
the sides to ensure a tight seal between both pieces of
fabric and the earpiece.
Do not purchase masks
designed for health care professionals. N95 and surgical masks are
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.
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.
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."
a mask when:
at essential businesses, like grocery stores or pharmacies
your health care provider
with customers/clients at essential businesses
sick, coughing or sneezing
How to make a homemade mask:
Fabric (100% cotton is most effective)
Sewing machine or a needle and thread
Measure and cut two pieces of fabric in a
rectangle pattern to fit snugly around the face (size
12 inches by 6 inches is standard for adults).
Tightly sew both layers together on all
Cut fabric ties to fit around the ears.
Sew the ties to the insides of the mask on
the smaller edge, repeat on both sides.
Resew the sides to ensure a tight seal
between both pieces of fabric and the earpiece.
your hands is one of the most important steps you can take in
staying healthy. When you wash, make sure you:
your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn
off the tap, and apply soap.
your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather
the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under
your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum
the "Happy Birthday" song from beginning to end
your hands well under clean, running water.
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
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).