Greenwood residents began making masks for health care workers when the rumblings of a possible masks shortage spread across the country. To keep medical professionals healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic, they need as many surgical masks and N-95 respirators as possible, meaning most residents might have to create their own face coverings at home.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends using homemade cloth face coverings to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. The masks should not replace proper handwashing or social distancing efforts, but they are another measure of defense that can be taken by the public.
A mask is intended to prevent the wearer from spreading the virus, especially should the individual be unaware that they are infected with the coronavirus. Researchers think about 10% of spread comes from people without symptoms.
The CDC recommends the masks be worn in grocery stores, pharmacies and other locations where social distancing may be difficult to maintain.
The CDC said that 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
Cloth face coverings can be fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low costs. Cloth face coverings should not be placed on children younger than 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
The CDC recommends that the public properly washes their cloth face coverings in the washing machine. When removing the masks, individuals should immediately wash their hands and be careful not to touch their eyes, nose or mouth.
The CDC has visual instructions on its website on how to make sewn and not sewn cloth face coverings using T-shirts, cotton fabric, and coffee filters are displayed. You can find those here: cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html