How to Make a Face Mask Amid New CDC Coronavirus Recommendations

Now that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are recommending everyone wear a face mask to help limit the spread of coronavirus, the CDC has shared guidelines for how citizens can make their own. In a new post on the organizations website, the CDC explains how a face mask should fit, as well as how to craft one from materials you may already have at home.

The CDC also included a tutorial on how to sew together a face mask from fabric "such as quilting fabric or cotton sheets." For those who need something less complex, the CDC also included instructions on how to make a face mask out of an old t-shirt. They explained that if need be, "T-shirt fabric will work in a pinch." Click here for the tutorials. The CDC notes, "Cloth face coverings should fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face" and "be secured with ties or ear loops." The mask should "include multiple layers of fabric" and "allow for breathing without restriction." Finally, the masks should "be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape."

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The CDC then added that they recommend "wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission." The organization continues: "CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure. Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance."

Additionally, "The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance." The CDC also suggests that face masks "should be routinely washed depending on the frequency of use." They also state that "a washing machine should suffice in properly washing a face covering." The CDC adds, "Individuals should be careful not to touch their eyes, nose, and mouth when removing their face covering and wash hands immediately after removing."