​Wear a Cloth Face Covering

Wearing a cloth face covering in public may prevent the spread of virus from the wearer to others. This would be especially important if someone is infected but does not have symptoms. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional public health measure.

 How to Make Your Own Face Covering

Should I wear a facemask?

The CDC changed its guidance on facemasks on April 3, 2020. Surgical masks and N-95 respirators must still be preserved for health care workers.

The CDC now recommends that citizens wear cloth facemasks when they must go out and continue to practice 6 feet social distancing and frequent handwashing. The change accounts for the possibility that individuals without symptoms could spread the virus and a cloth facemask could prevent the release of respiratory droplets from their nose and mouth.

Cloth facemasks could include bandanas, scarves and other homemade face coverings. Wear masks with two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Best Practice: Use Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19
Face Coverings: Frequently Asked Questions

Key Times to Wear a Mask

How to Wear Masks

Wear Your Mask Correctly:

  • Wash your hands before putting on your 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

How to Help Kids Wear a Mask

How to Wash Masks

How to clean

Washing machine

  • Include your mask with your regular laundry.
  • Use regular laundry detergent and the warmest appropriate water setting for the cloth used to make the mask.

Washing by hand

Prepare a bleach solution by mixing:

  • 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) household bleach per gallon of room temperature water or
  • 4 teaspoons household bleach per quart of room temperature water

Check the label to see if your bleach is intended for disinfection. Some bleach products, such as those designed for safe use on colored clothing, may not be suitable for disinfection. Ensure the bleach product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser.

Soak the mask in the bleach solution for 5 minutes.

Rinse thoroughly with cool or room temperature water.

How to dry

Dryer: Use the highest heat setting and leave in the dryer until completely dry.

Air dry: Lay flat and allow to completely dry. 

Considerations for Wearing Masks

CDC recommends that people wear masks in public settings and around people who don’t live in the same household, especially when social distancing is difficult to maintain.

Masks are most likely to reduce the spread of COVID-19 when widely used by people in public settings.

Who Should Wear a Mask:

  • General public
  • People who know or think they might have COVID-19
  • Caregivers of people with COVID-19

Who Should Not Wear a Mask:

  • Children under the age of 2 
  • Anyone who has trouble breathing
  • Anyone who is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance

If you Have Athsma

MDHHS: Have Asthma? You Can Wear a Face Mask!