Governor’s Directive to Wear a Mask

This information is being provided courtesy of the Office of Governor John Carney and the Delaware Division of Public Health.

Guidance on Cloth Face Coverings to Help Stop the Spread of COVID-19

The Delaware Division of Public Health issued guidance that recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies). Click here to learn more.

The primary purpose of waring the face covering is not to protect yourself. It's to protect others.

WHAT DPH RECOMMENDS:

  • Wear cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
  • Practice strict hand washing before and after touching and adjusting the face covering. Face coverings are not a replacement for washing hands, physical distancing while performing essential activities, and staying home. 
  • If you are sick, you should wear a cloth face covering over your nose and mouth if you must be around other people even at home.

WHAT DPH DOES NOT RECOMMEND:

  • Members of the general public should not use medical or surgical masks, as doing so could further endanger critically low levels of personal protective equipment for healthcare personnel.

Reserve medical or surgical masks for health care workers. Use cloth face coverings, reuse as needed, wash at least once a day.

What is a cloth face covering?

Side view of an individual wearing a cloth face covering, which conceals their mouth and nose areas and has a string looped behind the visible ear to hold the covering in place. The top of the covering is positioned just below the eyes and the bottom extends down to cover the chin. The visible side of the covering extends to cover approximately half of the individual’s cheek.A cloth face covering is a material that covers the nose and mouth. It can be secured to the head with ties or straps or simply wrapped around the lower face. It can be made of a variety of materials, such as cotton, silk, or linen.

Research has shown that certain more densely-woven fabrics may be more effective. A cloth face covering may be factory-made or sewn by hand, or can be improvised from household items such as scarfs, T-shirts, sweatshirts, or towels.

For more information, read the CDC guidance: How to Wear Cloth Face Coverings

How do I make a cloth face covering? 

For information on making your own cloth face covering, read the CDC's step-by-step instructions for Sew and No-Sew Cloth Face Coverings. The CDC provides instructions for sewn cloth face coverings, quick cut t-shirt face coverings (no sew method), and bandana face coverings (no sew method).

For a tutorial on making cloth face coverings, watch the video from the U.S. Surgeon General:

 

How do I care for a cloth face covering?

Washing your cloth face covering frequently, ideally after each use, or at least daily is strongly recommended. Use a bag or bin to store cloth face coverings until they can be laundered with detergent and hot water and dried on a hot cycle.

If you must re-wear your cloth face covering before washing, wash your hands immediately after putting it back on or adjusting the mask, and avoid touching your face.

Discard cloth face coverings that:

  • Have stretched out or damaged ties or straps
  • No longer cover the mouth and nose
  • Don’t stay on the face
  • Have any rips or holes in the fabric

Where should I wear a cloth face covering?

You may choose to wear a cloth face covering when you must be in public for essential activities, such as shopping at the grocery store. Wearing a cloth face covering does not eliminate the need to physically distance yourself from others. If you are sick you should wear a cloth face covering, over your nose and mouth if you must be around other people even at home.

How effectively do cloth face coverings prevent the spread of COVID-19?

There is limited evidence to suggest that public use of cloth face coverings during a pandemic helps reduce disease transmission. The primary role is to reduce the release of infectious particles into the air when someone speaks, coughs, or sneezes, including someone who has COVID-19 but may not show symptoms. Cloth face coverings are not a substitute for washing hands, physical distancing while performing essential activities, and staying home, but they may be helpful when combined with these actions.

The latest information and updates from the State of Delaware are available at de.gov/coronavirus.

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Delawareans with general questions about COVID-19 can call the Delaware Coronavirus Call Center at 211, or 711 for individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Questions can also be submitted by email at DPHCall@delaware.gov. DPH will continue to update the public as more information becomes available. For the latest on Delaware’s response, visit de.gov/coronavirus.

How to report price gouging in Delaware. Visit de.gov/consumer.  inwilmtogther