The Centers For Disease Control (CDC) has advised all Americans to wear cloth face masks while out in public to help minimize the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). These precautions were put in place to prevent the spread of the virus by those who are infected with it and are asymptomatic. The CDC advised wearing a cloth face covering when you’re out in public places, like grocery stores and pharmacies, where the social distancing guidelines are harder to follow. For many before the pandemic, face masks were not a part of their at-home collection. Luckily, a selection of retailers have now made protective face coverings available for purchase. For those who do not have masks already or prefer not to make a DIY face mask, buying one is an easy alternative.
In order to properly wear a face mask, it must fit closely against the face, be secured with ties or ear loops, include more than one layer of fabric, allow for breathing, and be able to be washed without getting damaged. It’s worth noting that while these cloth face coverings are not medical grade masks like the N95 respirators and surgical masks, which are being reserved for healthcare workers, they are still useful to put on when out in public. Wearing a cloth mask will not ensure protection against ingesting droplets, but it’s a precautionary safety measure worth taking.
Ahead is a curated list of face masks that are available to buy online, including companies and brands that are doing their part by donating proceeds and masks to charities and hospitals to help those working against the virus. If you don’t already have a mask or need another one for yourself or a loved one, shop these picks now and help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
— Additional reporting by Sarah Wasilak