Last week, it was announced that the CDC recommended all Americans voluntarily wear a face mask outside of their homes to slow the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Specifically, the CDC recommends face coverings whenever social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, including grocery stores and pharmacies.
On the CDC website, the organization states:
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.
The CDC has provided a 45-second video on how to make your own face covering with household items:
It is important to note, the CDC does not recommend the usage of N95 or surgical masks, as the supply must be saved for healthcare workers and first responders.
Dr. Jerome Adams Shows How to Make a Mask
The video features United States Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams showing how to make a face covering. At the start of the video, he spoke about different household items an American can use as a mask, like a scarf or a bandana.
He then used a t-shirt to make a mask. Dr. Adams folded the t-shirt multiple times until it was in the shape of a rectangle. He then used two rubber bands, one on each side of the shirt, and he then folded the t-shirt again — the rubber bands were then placed around his ears to keep the covering in place over his face.
The CDC Outlines How to Wear a Cloth Face Covering
On the CDC website, the organization outlines five key elements on how to wear and maintain a face covering. The CDC says that a face covering should “fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face, be secured with ties or ear loops, include multiple layers of fabric, allow for breathing without restriction and be able to to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape.”
The CDC Gives Recommendations on Face Mask Handling & Cleaning
The CDC recommends that individuals should routinely wash their face coverings, depending on how frequently the person uses it. The CDC has stated that a washing machine should be adequate to properly wash the face mask.
To remove the face mask, it is paramount not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth. The face covering could have COVID-19 contaminants on it. Once the mask is removed, avoid touching anything else and make sure to wash your hands right away.