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Face Coverings to Slow the Spread of COVID-19: You Asked, We Answered

Post Date:04/07/2020 10:20 AM

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to study the spread and effects of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) across the United States.  We now know from recent studies that a significant portion of individuals with COVID-19 lack symptoms (“asymptomatic”) and that even those who eventually develop symptoms (“pre-symptomatic”) can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms. This means that the virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity—for example, speaking, coughing, or sneezing—even if those people are not exhibiting symptoms.

In response to the rapidly growing number of COVID-19 cases and to help slow the spread, Riverside County Public Health ordered the public to stay home and cover face when leaving. We know you have questions. Here are answers to the most common questions about face coverings.

Questions & Answers

What type of cloth face covering should be worn?

Cloth face coverings can be made from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost.  Face coverings can be bandanas, scarves, neck gaiters or other clothing that does not have visible holes. Residents should not purchase N95 or surgical masks, as these limited resources are needed for the healthcare community and first responders. 

How do I Wear a Cloth Face Covering?

 Cloth face coverings should—

  • fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
  • be secured with ties or ear loops
  • include multiple layers of fabric
  • allow for breathing without restriction
  • be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape

Should cloth face coverings be washed or otherwise cleaned regularly? How regularly?

Yes. They should be routinely washed depending on the frequency of use.

How does one safely sterilize/clean a cloth face covering?

A washing machine should suffice in properly washing a face covering.

How does one safely remove a used cloth face covering?

Individuals should be careful not to touch their eyes, nose, and mouth when removing their face covering and wash hands immediately after removing.

Do I still need to stay at least 6 feet away from people if wearing a cloth face covering?

Yes. Wearing cloth face coverings is an additional public health measure people should take to reduce the spread of COVID-19. CDC still recommends that you stay at least 6 feet away from other people (social distancing), frequent hand cleaning and other everyday preventive actions. A cloth face covering is not intended to protect the wearer, but it may prevent the spread of virus from the wearer to others. This would be especially important if someone is infected but does not have symptoms. View CDC’s guidance on how to protect yourself.

More frequently asked questions can be found on the City of Corona’s COVID-19 FAQ webpage. 

Sew and No Sew Instructions

Click here for guide a printable guide on Sew and No Sew Instructions. You can also watch a helpful video on how to make your own face covering with items you can find around your household.

For the latest information about COVID-19, please visit, call (951) 817-5800, or email

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