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Wearing a homemade face mask could help save lives

Wearing a homemade face mask could help save lives

Medical masks should be reserved for health care providers. Non-medical mask use does not replace the need to follow guidance to stay home and limit our contact with others.

If you need to go out in public to shop for groceries or other essentials, the CDC recommends that everyone wear a cloth face covering to help slow the spread of coronavirus to those around us. Please remember that it doesn’t replace the most effective ways to slow that spread: 

  • Washing hands frequently for at least 20 seconds
  • Staying home as much as possible
  • Keeping 6 feet of distance from others
  • Isolating yourself if you’re sick

Masks are an added protection

Coronavirus usually spreads from one person to another and recent studies show that if you have the virus, you can pass it on to someone else even if you don’t show any symptoms.

Face coverings can help protect others if you are infected. If you need to go out in public, wearing a simple cloth mask can block germs from traveling when you talk, cough or sneeze.

Who should wear a mask?

Everyone should wear a mask if you have to go out in public, even if you don’t feel sick. And you should still keep six feet distance from others. Children under 2 and those who have trouble breathing or cannot remove the mask themselves should not wear masks.

What kind of mask should you wear?

You don’t need to wear a surgical mask such as an N-95 respirator. There is a shortage of these respirators, which health care workers and first responders need. As they help us during this crisis, let’s do our part to help them stay healthy.

A simple homemade cloth mask is effective. You can make this yourself out of materials like t-shirts, bandanas, pillowcases, scarves and more. The CDC video below has helpful tips on how to make your own mask. The CDC also has directions to sew one for yourself or loved ones.

We can protect our communities.

Wearing a mask should not replace any of the CDC’s safety guidelines, but it is one more way that we can take care of each other—and get through this crisis, together.