TAMPA, Fla. - The Centers for Disease Control's new recommendations to wear a cloth face covering while in public to protect against the spread of COVID-19 has sent many people scrambling to find household items to use in place of masks.
"If we get to the point where people are wearing more masks, I think understanding the fabric and how to wear the mask, how to put it on and take it off and how to clean it are really important," said USF professor of public health Marissa Levine.
With masks nearly impossible to find on store shelves and officials urging the public to leave medical-grade masks for health care workers on the front lines, the public is being forced to get creative.
On Friday, the CDC released a 'how-to' video on their YouTube page, explaining what can be used as a cloth face covering and demonstrating how to make your own mask at home.
"Here's how you can make your own face-covering in a few easy steps with items you can find around the house, like an old scarf, a bandanna or a hand towel, or you can make a face-covering out of an old t-shirt," said U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams on their newly-released YouTube video.
The CDC said it's important to wash those cloth face coverings regularly and avoid touching your nose and mouth when putting them on. They added, that while folks won't be required to wear a mask while in public, it isn't a bad idea.
"A face barrier can actually interrupt the number of virus particles that can go from one person to another," said Robert Redfield, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director.
The CDC stated that wearing a cloth face covering isn't a substitution for social distancing, however.
Click here for more information on CDC guidelines regarding cloth face coverings.
To see the CDC's how-to video on making your own mask at home, click here.