Cloth Masks and Face Coverings
Wearing a cloth face covering or mask can help slow the spread of COVID-19 when combined with every day preventative actions. Cloth masks may help prevent people who have COVID-19 from spreading the virus to others.
The CDC recommends everyone wear cloth masks while in public. Additionally, many communities in our region have issued ordinances that require cloth masks to be worn in public. Find out more about mask ordinances in your community through the agencies listed on our Public Health Resources page.
NOTE: Cloth masks are not surgical masks or respirators. Currently, those are critical supplies that should continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders.
Wearing Cloth Masks
Cloth face masks are most likely to reduce the spread of COVID-19 when they are widely used by people in public settings.
The CDC has released the following guidelines:
When to Wear a Cloth Mask
All people 2 years of age and older wear a cloth face covering in public settings.
When around people who don’t live in your household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
Who should not wear cloth mask
- Children younger than 2 years old
- Anyone who has trouble breathing
- Anyone who is unable to remove a cloth mask without assistance.
How to wear a mask
Wearing a cloth mask correctly
- Wash your hands with soap and water before putting on your cloth mask
- Put it over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin
- Try to fit it snugly against the sides of your face
- Make sure you can breathe easily
- Remove the mask using the ear loops or ties.
- Wash your hands immediately after removing your cloth mask.
Washing Cloth Face Coverings
Cloth masks should be washed after each use. Hand washing or a washing machine can be used.