The global pandemic caused by COVID-19 has left many health care providers scrambling for basic personal protective equipment, or PPE.
Surgical masks and respirators are two forms of PPE that health care providers need to work safely in a pandemic.
The virus is mainly spread from person-to-person through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks in close proximity to others, according to the CDC. The agency offers instructions on how to fashion masks out of household materials like t-shirts, bandanas and coffee filters, even for those without sewing skills.
“Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure,” the CDC says on its website.