Do not use surgical masks or N95 masks. These masks are considered specialized personal protective equipment (PPE) and should be reserved for first responders and health care workers to protect from serious injuries or illnesses while doing their jobs. If you have supplies of PPE, consider donating them.
Homemade masks are NOT meant to replace proven public health strategies like staying home, social distancing and practicing good hygiene, which are all still the best ways to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. If used correctly, masks are simply another tool to help people who may have the virus -- but don’t know it -- from transmitting it to others. KDHE recommends wearing a mask that fits snuggly around the nose, mouth and chin and has multiple layers of fabric. Alternatively, a thinner disposable mask may be worn underneath a cloth face mask to improve the fit. Visit KDHE’s Mask Guidance for more information.
To use a homemade mask safely and effectively, remember this helpful acronym: M.A.S.K.
M = Multi-layered, tightly-woven 100% cotton --180+ thread count. Don’t buy surgical or N95 masks.
A = Avoid your face. Never touch the front of the mask. Always remove it from behind your head.
S = Scrap it if it’s damaged, soiled or doesn’t fit. Make sure it’s breathable and fits snug. Don’t use while it’s damp, wet or dirty.
K = Keep the mask and your hands clean. Wash your hands before and after use. Wash or dispose the mask after every use.
Learn how to make a mask.
Learn about children and masks.