On Friday, April 3, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended wearing cloth face-coverings in public settings where other physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
The CDC advises that the use of simple cloth face-coverings may slow the spread of the virus and possibly help people who have the virus, and are asymptomatic, from transmitting it to others. It is critical to emphasize that maintaining 6-feet physical distancing and following hand hygiene remains important to slow the spread of the virus. Fabric face covers are to be used in addition to these strategies.
The Arizona Department of Health Services recommends that individuals engaging in essential services who can safely manage their own cloth face-coverings should consider wearing non-medical cloth face-coverings when they are unable to appropriately physically distance themselves from others. Accordingly, voluntarily wearing a covering over the mouth and nose may help everyone to stay safe and healthy, but only if they can do so safely based on their work.
Cloth Face-Coverings Features and Materials
The cloth face covering is being provided for an individual’s voluntary extended use.
Each one is made to rest comfortably on your face without obscuring your view or constricting your chin and cheeks.
Note: Cloth face-coverings should never be placed on children under age two, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the cloth face-covering without assistance. Any individual under the age of 18 should receive consent from their parent or guardian before using a cloth face-covering.
How to Use a Cloth Face-Covering
Cloth face-coverings must be used appropriately. Inappropriate use or removal of the covering can increase the risk of transmission to the user and others.
- Cover the mouth and nose with the cloth face-covering and minimize gaps between the face and the face-covering.
- The cloth face-covering should fit snugly but comfortably against the sides of the face.
- It should be able to be secured with ear loops.
- It should allow for breathing without restriction If at any point the cloth face-covering restricts breathing discontinue use.
Always use the following safety protocols when using a cloth face-covering:
- Wash the cloth face-covering before use.
- Before putting a cloth face-covering on, clean your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer of at least 60% alcohol.
- Choose grey or white color for outerwear.
- Do not touch your face or the cloth facing-covering while in use; if you do, wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer of at least 60% alcohol.
- Place an earloop around each ear and adjust the mask to make it placed evenly over the nose and chin.
- To remove the cloth face-covering: remove it from behind your face (do not touch the front); avoid shaking it in order to minimize the possibility of dispersing virus particles through the air; place the cloth face-covering in a bag. After removing the cloth face-covering from your face, promptly clean your hands in accordance with guidelines.
- If you need to eat or drink while wearing the cloth face-covering, remove the face-covering while maintaining physical distancing practices. Do not pull down the cloth face-coverings to eat, drink, or talk.
- Always make sure to wash your hands before and after removing it.
- Reusable cloth face-coverings should be properly laundered daily.
Laundering and Care Instructions:
- Hand or machine warm wash in liquid detergent. Wash with similar-colored items and use a lingerie bag for extra care.
- Do not bleach.
- Hang/lay flat to dry or tumble dry.
- If the cloth face-covering becomes damaged or the shape is altered after washing, please dispose of the face-covering and request a new one.
- A cloth face-covering does not replace the need for physical distancing. Maintaining 6 feet of physical distancing remains important to slow the spread of the virus.
- A cloth face-covering does not replace the need for frequent and vigorous handwashing.
- A cloth face-covering does not replace the need to cover coughs and sneezes.
- Avoid face touching, even when wearing a cloth face-covering.
- A cloth face-covering does not lessen the need to stay home when ill or feeling potentially ill, or to comply with Governor Ducey’s Stay Home, Stay Safe, Stay Connected Executive Order, which directs Arizonans to limit their time away from their lace of residence or property.
CDC Environmental Cleaning and Disinfecting Recommendations
CDC Recommendation Regarding the Use of Cloth Face-coverings, Especially in Areas of Significant Community-Based Transmission
CDC Use of Cloth Face-coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19