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Masks for COVID-19 protection

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Wearing face masks for COVID-19

The CDC now recommends everyone wear cloth masks while in public.

Cloth masks block some, but not all, airborne coronavirus.  Social distancing and handwashing are still your primary protection tools. 

Here are some do’s and don’ts to help keep you and your family safe while wearing masks.


  • wear a mask when running essential errands
  • practice 6-feet+ social distancing, even with the mask on in public
  • take the mask off by the ear elastic when you get home and wash it as soon possible
  • wash your hands for 20 seconds after removing the mask and on a regular basis


  • touch the mask without washing your hands
  • play with the mask while wearing it
  • take the mask off by grabbing the center fabric near your mouth and nose
  • share masks with others in your household without washing them first

It is believed these masks may help individuals who have the virus but are not yet symptomatic from unintentionally spreading the virus. Please do not use N95 or surgical masks as there is a critical shortage of these items for our healthcare workers and first responders.

Learn more about cloth face coverings from the CDC.

How to properly wear homemade cloth masks:

  1. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Dry your hands with a clean paper towel and throw the paper towel away.
  2. Check the mask for any defects such as a tear or missing tie or ear loop. Throw away any that are defective.
  3. Make sure the exterior side of the mask is facing out, away from your face.
  4. Place the mask completely over your nose and mouth. 
  5. If the mask has ear loops, put those on top of each ear.
  6. If the mask has ties, pick up the mask by the ties and tie the upper ties behind your head with a bow.
  7. If the mask has a lower tie, then once the mask is fitted to the bridge of your nose, tie the lower ties behind your head with a bow.
  8. Make sure the mask is completely secure, Make sure it covers your nose and mouth so that the bottom edge is under your chin
  9. Wash your hands.

Removing the mask

  1. Wash your hands before removing the mask.
  2. Do not touch the inside of the mask. It may be contaminated from your breathing, coughing or sneezing.
  3. Untie or remove the ear loops and remove the mask by the straps
  4. Throw the mask in the trash.

Mask Graphic-01-01

Essential washing of cloth mask

If you are using a reusable cloth mask, at the end of the day, take the mask off from the straps (not touching the front), place in a pillowcase to keep the ties with the mask. Wash it in the washing machines with hot water and completely dry on medium or high heat.

How can I get a mask?

The Kansas City, Missouri Health Department Aim4Peace team is collecting donations of homemade masks to then distribute throughout the community. 

If you would like to make masks to donate, please follow the CDC pattern link and call the Aim4Peace line at 816-352-3069 to schedule collection.

Follow these social accounts for more information about donations and distributions.

Patterns to make a homemade cloth mask

CDC Pattern link

Scarf or bandana facemask guidance from U.S. Surgeon General

CDC video

 Sewing video

Local sources to purchase homemade masks