Face Coverings in Public Settings
To protect others from getting sick, everyone in a public setting where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) is recommended to wear a cloth face covering.*
Cloth face coverings should:
- fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
- be secured with ties or ear loops
- include multiple layers of fabric
- allow for breathing without restriction
- be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape
Use this acronym when considering safe homemade mask use:
- Multi-layered, tightly-woven 100% Cotton. Use a thread count of 180 or higher. Don’t buy surgical or N95 masks.
- Avoid your face and remove it from behind. Never touch the front of the mask, and always remove it from behind your head.
- Scrap it if it’s damaged, soiled, or doesn’t fit. Make sure it’s breathable and fits snugly. Don’t use it while it’s damp, wet, or dirty.
- Keep the mask and your hands clean. Wash your hands before you put the mask on/after you take it off. Wash or dispose the mask after every use.
Who should not wear a cloth face covering?
- Any child under the age of two years.
- Anyone who has trouble breathing.
- Anyone who is unconscious or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance. Please refer to the cloth face covering and respirator comparison chart on the back of this fact sheet for more information.
For more information on a simple sewing and/or non-sewing method for making a homemade mask, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html.
*Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE)
Please click here for a "Mask Comparison Chart."
For More Information:
Sedgwick County Health Department
1900 E. 9th St.
Wichita, KS 67214