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 respirators for our health care workers and first responders. Remember this saying: "My mask protects you, your mask protects me."
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
How to make a homemade mask:
- Fabric (100% cotton is most effective)
- Fabric Ties
- Sewing machine or a needle and thread
- Measure and cut two pieces of fabric in a rectangle pattern to fit snugly around the face (size
12 inches by 6 inches is standard for adults).
- Tightly sew both layers together on all edges.
- Cut fabric ties to fit around the ears.
- Sew the ties to the insides of the mask on the smaller edge, repeat on both sides.
- Resew the sides to ensure a tight seal between both pieces of fabric and the earpiece.
Unable to sew? Follow these simple instructions for a no-sew mask.
Help spread the message on social media by downloading and sharing these What Type of Mask do I Need? and How to Make a Homemade Mask graphics. Learn more about universal masking.
Find out more about the difference between homemade masks and masks for health care professionals.
Wash Your Hands
Washing your hands is one of the most important steps you can take in staying healthy. When you wash, make sure you:
- Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
- Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
- Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the "Happy Birthday" song from beginning to end twice.
- Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
- Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them. Washing hands with soap and water is the best way to get rid of germs in most situations.
If soap and water are not readily available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
Cover Your Mouth and Nose
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your elbow when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend the routine use of face masks and respirators in the community. Most often, the spread of germs from person-to-person happens among close contacts (within 6 feet).
Avoid Touching Your Face
Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces — especially when someone is ill.
Practice Social Distancing
- Stay home as much as you can
- Avoid public spaces
- Keep at least 6 feet between you and others if you must go out
- Don't attend or host large gatherings
- Avoid using mass transit