The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently updated its COVID-19 prevention protocol to recommend people wear cloth face masks in situations where social distancing is difficult, such as grocery stores or pharmacies, and in areas that have high numbers of community-based transmission of the virus.
This week, San Antonio officials echoed that sentiment. Mayor Ron Nirenberg recommended that anyone over five years old wear a cloth covering over their nose and mouth when in public.
The CDC says this is because even those who are exhibiting no symptoms of the coronavirus can spread the disease. The goal is to stop the transmission of respiratory droplets.
Note: These are cloth face masks, not the personal protective equipment reserved for medical personnel and those on the frontlines of the coronavirus crisis.
There are plenty of ways to make your own mask at home, and businesses are even offering kits that supply the tools to do so. But if you're in a pinch and need to make one quickly with materials you have on hand, this visual guide will walk you through the steps.
All you'll need is some sort of handkerchief, bandana, scarf or square piece of material — something thick enough that you can't see through it directly — and two hair ties. For extra protection, you can cut a coffee filter to fit in the middle of the mask.
After wearing the mask in public, the CDC recommends you wash and machine dry it to disinfect to fabric.
Photos by Kaityln Handel