The St. Louis County Department of Public Health [DPH] has evaluated its inventory of personal protective equipment and had expressed concern regarding its supply of masks. To help meet the demand required for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, the DPH is seeking immediate assistance in gathering cloth masks.
The cloth masks will be worn by those serving in supportive and in-direct roles, thereby preserving much needed N-95 masks for the healthcare workers and first responders who must work in direct contact with those confirmed to have COVID-19. The CDC notes that homemade masks are not considered PPE, as their capability to protect health care professionals is unknown, but this option is a better option than no option.
The CDC has directions for making two types of cloth masks, one that does not require sewing and one that does. Both types can be made out of items found in your home. For more information visit: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html.
If you or your organization is able to provide cloth masks, please email EOCdonations@stlouisco.com.
Additionally, the CDC recommends the personal use of cloth face masks in addition to implementing social distancing.
Specifically, the CDC recommends:
- You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.
- Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public, for example to the grocery store or to pick up other necessities.
- Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
- The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
- Do NOT use a facemask meant for a healthcare worker.
- Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing.