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Face Coverings (Masks) and Covid-19

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Feb 4, 2024.

What do I need to know about face coverings (masks)?

A cloth face covering (mask) helps protect you from the virus that causes COVID-19. The virus can spread by people who have no symptoms. The covering helps reduce the chances of the virus spreading in droplets from talking, sneezing, and coughing. You may use a homemade face covering or a disposable non-medical mask. These are available at drug stores and may be available at other stores.

How can I make a face covering out of a thick cloth?

You can sew a face covering. You can use a bandana, a scarf, a tee-shirt, or a hand towel. Choose a fabric that will keep its shape and size after it is washed and dried. The fabric should be tightly knit. Hold it up to a light. You should not be able to see the light through the fabric. You will also need 2 rubber bands or 2 hair ties or ponytail holders. The following is a way to make a face covering without sewing:

What do I need to know about face coverings?

How to Wear a Face Covering (Mask)

What should I do if a face covering cannot be used some or all of the time?

Where can I find more information?

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I call my doctor?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.