SLSD Health Services
Topic: Cloth Face Covers (Homemade Masks)
Gov Wolf Press Briefing 4/3/2020
During a COVID-19 press briefing today Governor Tom Wolf recommended that all Pennsylvanians wear a mask any time they leave their homes for life-sustaining reasons. As COVID-19 cases steadily rise in the state, Gov. Wolf stressed the need to intensify all measures to help stop the spread of the virus. . . “Wearing a mask will help us cut down the possibility that we might be infecting an innocent bystander, like the grocery store cashier, the pharmacist, or someone stocking shelves,” Gov. Wolf said.
To read the entire briefing click here.
So what does this mean for you and me?
There are three types of masks you hear people talk about.
N95 Respirators – these masks should be worn by healthcare workers when caring for patients with Covid-19 when performing procedures which put them at high risk of exposure.
Surgical Masks – these masks should be worn by health care providers when doing routine health procedures.
Homemade Mask (Cloth face covering) – Should be worn by the general public to help decrease the spread of the virus.
According to the PA DOH to "Help Stop the Spread"
Wear A Mask in Public
Members of the public are encouraged to wear homemade cloth or fabric masks. Save surgical masks and N95 respirator for our health care workers and first responders. Remember this saying: "My mask protects you, your mask protects me."
According to the PA DOH wear a mask when:
- Shopping at essential businesses, like grocery stores or pharmacies
- Visiting your health care provider
- On public transportation
- Interacting with customers/clients at essential businesses
- Feeling sick, coughing or sneezing
What exactly does “My mask protects you, your mask protects me” mean?
The purpose of the homemade masks (cloth face coverings) being worn by the public is to protect others. It is not a guaranteed method of protecting yourself from acquiring Covid-19 but it does help prevent the spread of Covid-19 to others. Especially if the person wearing the mask does not know they have the disease and are asymptomatic (without symptoms) or is a carrier. If you have symptoms you should stay home and have someone else run errands for you. If you are not sure what to do if you have symptoms click here.
Remember wearing a mask is in addition to social distancing not as a replacement.
For more information from the PA DOH on mask use, directions on how to make a mask and additional information on how to stop the spread of Covid-19 click here.
TIP: When making a homemade mask use two different colors/patterns of material, that way if you have to remove your mask and then replace it you know which side you had towards you and which side faced away from you.
The CDC also has information on the use of Cloth Face Coverings.
Follow the DIY video below which stars Dr. Jerome Adams, US Surgeon General, for instructions on how to make the no-sew mask.