HAMPTON ROADS, Va. — The CDC is now recommending cloth face coverings as a voluntary public health measure people can take to help slow the spread of coronavirus.
Many people have already been sewing them up at home as a last resort for healthcare workers, but anyone can quickly make a cloth face mask with just a couple of items - and there’s no sewing involved.
The first thing you’ll need is two rubber bands.
Then, you’ll need to choose your fabric. The CDC says you can use a t-shirt, a scarf or a bandana.
Fold the fabric in half. Then, fold the ends over so they meet in the middle— repeat that step so the fabric has been folded a total of three times.
Afterwards, take the rubber bands and place them on either end of the fabric and then fold the ends over the rubber band so they meet in the middle one last time.
The cloth face covering is now finished and can be placed on your ears with the rubber bands.
It’s important to not touch your face when removing the mask and to wash your hands immediately after taking it off.
You’re going to want to use something you can easily throw in the washing machine and clean frequently.
This is a voluntary public health measure the CDC is recommending for people who are at least 2 years old to help slow the spread of the virus by preventing sick people who don’t have symptoms from spreading the virus to healthy people.
The CDC recommends people wear this type of cloth face covering in public setting where social distancing may be difficult, like going to the grocery store or pharmacy.
The CDC is still emphasizing maintaining 6-feet social distancing because the virus can easily spread if someone coughs, sneezes or is just speaking.
Just how effective is a cloth mask? Well, experts say tightly-woven, thicker fabrics are best.
“You want a high thread count, heavy cotton fabric. It’s sometimes referred to as 'quilters cotton' as opposed to the lower-grade, more open weave, printed cotton fabrics that you might find at a large discount fabric store. You also need two layers of fabric; the sandwich between makes it harder for particles to find their way through,” says Dr. Scott Segal, Chair of Anesthesiology at Wake Forest Baptist Health.