Mask Recommendations – Updated (4/8/2020)

We are making a strong recommendation for our community:

  1. Everybody should wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth when going outside of their home.
  2. Everybody should shelter-in-place, stay at home, and avoid individuals from other households. Only leave for essential purposes.

The CDC has finally issued a recommendation for the general population to use facemasks when outside their homes. The intent is to prevent asymptomatic individuals who may be COVID19 shedders from unknowingly infecting others. Within 2 weeks of the start of the Czech Republic campaign, called “MY MASK PROTECTS YOU and YOUR MASK PROTECTS ME,they saw a decrease in the number of COVID19 infected individuals.

There is a national shortage of medical and N95 masks. Therefore, we recommend that individuals make their own cloth masks. They should be at least double-layered and made from material that is tightly-woven but breathable. The best designs have a double layer of cotton fabric with a pouch into which you can insert a filter such as a piece cut from a new hepa-filter vacuum cleaner bag or even a paper towel.

Here are step-by-step diagrams for 2 masks and videos for all 3 masks:

How to make a mask with a t-shirt and scissors (5 minutes):
See the step-by-step DIAGRAM on page 3 of this document.

How to make a mask with a bandana and elastic bands (2 minutes):

See step-by-step DIAGRAM on page 4 of this document.

How to sew a mask using fabric and a sewing machine (takes 1 hour):

When wearing your mask, remember the following key points:

  1. Once you place the mask over your face, do NOT touch the outside of the mask and, if you remove it, always wear the same side facing outwards.
  2. Remove your mask by lifting (or untying) the straps from the back of your head or ears and pulling the mask forward.
  3. Wash the mask with other clothing worn outside the home in hot water using regular detergent and dry on high heat. Take out any filter you put into the pouch before washing. Save hepa-filter (label the outside, and always put it back with outside facing outside of mask). Discard paper towel filter.
  4. Wash your hands with soap and water before and after touching your mask.
  5. Wearing a mask does not preclude the need to continue practicing safe hand hygiene.   Continue washing your hands and avoid touching your hands to your face or nose.

COVID-19 St. Louis Jewish Medical Advisory Board

Larry Brown, MD, PhD, Emergency Medicine
Mark Friedman, MD, Cardiology
Daniela Hermelin, MD, Pathology, Anatomic and Clinical Morey Gardner, MD, Infectious Disease
Tessa Gardner, MD, Infectious Disease Craig Reiss, MD, Cardiology
Todd Silverman, MD, Neurology Greg Storch, MD, Infectious Disease
Dov Zeffren, MD, Allergy/Immunology

With the support and endorsement of the St. Louis Rabbanim

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