The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people wear cloth masks while in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to manage – for example in grocery stores and pharmacies. This advice is recommended for everyone, and especially those that are in an area of significant community based transmission of COVID-19.
The CDC states that they now know from recent studies that a significant portion of individuals with coronavirus lack symptoms (also called “asymptomatic”). Those people can – unknowingly – spread the virus to others before showing symptoms.
The purpose of wearing a cloth mask is to help stop the spread of the virus. People who don’t wear a mask, and who cough or sneeze without covering their mouth or using a tissue, can spread COVID-19. The CDC emphasizes that maintaining 6-feet of social distancing is still very important, even if you are wearing a cloth mask. The decision to wear a cloth mask is voluntary – and a very important safety measure.
You can purchase cloth masks from people who make them and sell them on Ebay. Many are making cloths masks in sizes for children, teens, women, and men. You will likely be able to find a size and style that fits everyone in your household. Cloth masks can also be made from household items you already have at home, like an old t-shirt or sheet. The CDC website has a video that explains how to make your own cloth mask.
Cloth masks should fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face, and be secured with ties or ear loops. Each mask should include multiple layers of fabric and allow for breathing without restriction. Cloth masks should be laundered and machine dried after use without damage or change to shape. Cloth masks are reusable. Paper masks are not.
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