May 3, 2020: Message for U.S. Citizens: Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19

May 3, 2020

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to COVID-19.  It is critical to emphasize that maintaining social distancing remains important to slowing the spread of the virus.

As a reminder, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends wearing a cloth face covering in areas where social distancing of six feet or more is difficult to maintain, including grocery stores and pharmacies, especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

It is important that all wearers understand that cloth face coverings are intended to protect others in the case that the wearer is an asymptomatic carrier, not to protect the wearer from getting the coronavirus.

Per the CDC, 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 laundered regularly based on frequency of use

Cloth face coverings should not be placed on anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the face covering without assistance.  Do not touch your eyes, nose, and mouth when removing your face covering.  Wash hands immediately after removing.  Wash the face covering frequently in the laundry.

For more information, including on how to make your own cloth face covering at home, please visit CDC’s page on COVID-19.