U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, M.D., M.Ph. demonstrates how the general public can make their own face masks for non-clinical use.
April 4, 2020 — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revised its recommendations, stating that everyone should now wear protective face cloth covering when out in public, especially in ares of significant community-based transmission. 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. CDC states that this recommendation complements and does not replace the official Coronavirus Guidelines for the United States issued by President Trump.
The CDC recommends the following for how to wear a cloth face mask. The mask 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
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. You can watch this CDC-issued video on How to Make Your Own Face Mask with U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, M.D., M.Ph.
The CDC states that 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.
See how clinicians in several countries have posted on social media channels how they are overcoming their shortages by making their own PPE here.