COVID-19 spreads through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
Medical masks are not readily available to the public, reserving stock for health workers who need them the most, as they’re exposed to the virus in their line of work. With the limited number of masks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a good number of people have resorted to making their own.
Are Homemade Cloth Masks Effective?
The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.
Cloth masks can be fashioned from fabrics and can be a decent alternative to medical masks if you don’t have access to them.
What Do I Need to Consider in a Homemade Mask?
First, the mask should have a snug fit. They should be secured with ties or elastic ear loops and should have multiple layers of fabrics to stop contaminated aerosol from penetrating it. More importantly, the mask shouldn’t restrict breathing and should be able to be laundered or machine-dried without damaging it.
While homemade masks are not as effective as surgical or N95 masks, they can help in slowing the spread of infection. Are you looking to make your own masks? Here’s how you can start.
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- ✓ A suitable fabric
- ✓ Lightweight fusible interfacing
- ✓ ¼ inch elastic bands
- ✓ Needle and thread
- ✓ Scissors
Cut both fabric and interfacing to 12 x 9 inches
Iron interfacing to fabric
Fold fabric in half with interacting on the outside
Cut two pieces of elastic bands, 7 inches long each
Sew ¼ inch from the edge of the material, pinning them down and leaving a 2-inch gap in the center
On the material, sew the elastic bands on each corner inside the material, pinning to keep them in place
Mark locations of pleat lines and add pins on both sides
Create three pleats by folding them and sew around the entire perimeter of the mask to hold them in place, and then close the 2-inch gap
Lastly, be sure to test out your new mask to see if it’s breathable.
With homemade masks, you can help slow the infection, considering you’re using the right fabrics.
Buy Masks NOW - COVID-19 Essentials
Get Ready-to-Wear Masks Made by Fabrics That Go
Fabrics That Go has sewers making masks. Choose from available masks: Solid or Print. Please include size.
If you’re making masks at home for yourself, family, and friends- why not consider donating some to local Tucson frontliners?
Because homemade masks are not medical grade, they will not be worn by providers directly caring for COVID-19 patients, nor in procedure rooms or isolation areas, where only Banner-approved personal protective equipment must be worn.
How it Works
All comfort masks are welcome, but they must be made from a material that can be laundered. Donated masks will be professionally laundered by Prestige Cleaners, which has generously donated its services, before being given to staff and patients. After receiving a clean mask, staff and patients will be advised to personally launder their masks daily.
INSTRUCTIONS: Place homemade masks in a box, bag or container in your car’s trunk labeled “homemade masks” with the quantity enclosed (no need to individually bag or package each mask). Please place any other items for donation in a separate box or container. Park, remain in your car with the windows up and call 520.694.9180 upon arrival. Pop your trunk and a staff member wearing gloves and a mask will retrieve your donated items and leave a donation form in your trunk for you to complete and return via email in order to obtain a donation receipt.
Tucson Area Donations of Masks, Medical Supplies and PPE
Banner Home Health office
575 E. River Road
Tucson, AZ 85704
DROP-OFF DONATION HOURS: Mon-Fri, 10am-2pm
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