Saint Peter’s Better Health

Sponsored by Saint Peter’s Healthcare System

The CDC advises that people wear a cloth face mask in public. Medical face masks need to be reserved for healthcare workers. So Saint Peter’s University Hospital taught us how to make our own. You can do this using a bandanna, T-shirt, or other cloth.

Benefits of a cloth mask

A mask restricts droplets from your mouth and nose when you breathe. This means people who may have the virus but don’t know it yet can help prevent giving it to others.

Don’t put a cloth face mask on:

  • A child under age 2
  • A person who has trouble breathing
  • A person who is unconscious or can’t remove their own mask

Using your cloth face mask

A cloth face mask should fit your face closely, without gaps. It should ideally have multiple layers of fabric and should stay in place with ties around your neck and head, or with ear loops. It should let you breathe normally. Wear the mask when you go out in public. You should still stay 6 feet from other people and use hand sanitizer when out.

When you remove the mask, do it carefully. Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. Hang the mask on a hook or put it in an assigned place. Wash your hands after touching it.

Wash your mask after several short uses, 1 long use, or if it gets damp. Wash it more often if needed. You can wash it in a laundry washing machine. Or you can wash it by hand with soap and water. Make sure it’s fully dry before you wear it.

Making your own mask

CLICK HERE to get detailed instructions on how to make an easy T-shirt mask or a layer bandana or scarf mask from Saint Peter’s University Hospital.


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