Face Coverings

Protect Yourself, Protect Others

Wearing a cloth face cover may prevent people who have COVID-19 and don’t know it from spreading the virus to others when they cough, breathe, or talk. Adopt the motto: "Act Like You Got It" – behave as if you have the virus and want to protect your friends, family and neighbors.

While not a reliable means of preventing infection, using cloth coverings frees up Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) resources for healthcare workers in hospitals, clinics and other facilities.

DIY Design Patterns

• Sewn Cloth • No-Sew Cut T-Shirt • No-Sew Bandana

Facemask Instructions 1 Facemask Instructions 2Regardless of the pattern, cloth face coverings 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.
  • be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape.

People do not need to wear face covers when alone, at home, or when outside away from other people. It may be good to wear a cloth face cover in places, such as a grocery store, workplace, or doctor's office, where it is difficult to keep physical distance (at least six feet) from others.

Step-by-Step Advice

Wearing cloth face coverings:

  1. Be sure to wash your hands very well BEFORE putting on a face covering.
  2. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth while donning the cover.
  3. Place the loop or ties around your ears snugly, ensuring the cover fits completely over your nose and under your mouth.
  4. Check that the cover does not move around BEFORE entering a public space.
  5. Do not touch your face or the cover while in public.
  6. Avoid getting your cover wet; they become much less effective when damp and should be replaced.
  7. If you must be in public spaces for an extended period, consider having multiple covers you can switch out.

Removing cloth face coverings:

  1. Carefully unfasten the loops or ties, being sure not to touch your face.
  2. Hold the cover from the loop or tie and place it either directly into the laundry or into a bag or other container that can go in the washer without touching it.
  3. Wash your face cover in the clothes washer before using it again.

Surgeon General Jerome Adams demonstrates how to make a cloth face covering. (Video)

PPE Needed!

Local healthcare facilities need medical-grade Personal Protective Equipment. If you have surgical masks, NIOSH-approved N95 respirators, medical gloves or gowns, or other protective gear you would like to donate to healthcare workers, visit the COVID019 Volunteer and Donation webpage.
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