Due to the rise of COVID-19 cases throughout Washington, a statewide face cover mandate is now in effect and requires the use of face coverings in public for everyone over the age of 5, unless someone has a medical condition that makes it unsafe for them to wear one. Click here to learn more.
Wearing a face cover in public helps prevent the spread of illness and saves lives by preventing the spread of illness from people who are pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic. Please help keep those around you safe and wear a face covering when in public, both indoor and outdoors (where you can’t stay 6 feet away from others). Remember: face covers should be worn in addition to practicing other health and safety measures including keeping a safe distance from others and washing your hands often.
How to properly wear a face cover
- Wash your hands before putting on your face cover
- Put it over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin
- Try to fit it snugly against the sides of your face
- Make sure you can breathe easily
- Wash your hands frequently
- Avoid touching your cover and face (wash your hands if you do)
- Continue to maintain at least 6 feet of distance with others as much as possible
- Wash your face cover after every use
- For safety reasons, children under the age of 2 should not wear a cloth cover
Learn more about face covers
- From the CDC: face cover information, recommendations and instructions
- From the State of Washington: information about face covers the state mandate
- From the Washington State Department of Health: face cover FAQs
- From Gov. Jay Inslee and Secretary of Health John Wiesman: statewide face cover mandate, effective June 26, 2020
Click the tabs below to learn more about making, caring for and donating cloth face covers.
Making a face cover
Cloth face covers can be simple and inexpensive. Face covers can be made from any tightly woven, breathable and washable material. easy alternatives include a scarf or a couple of layers of any breathable, washable fabric. They should fit over the area from the bridge of the nose to the chin, and from one cheek (past the corner of the mouth) to the other, with no gaps when the person moves or speaks.
Check out these resources to learn how to make cloth face covers:
- The CDC has guidance on how to properly make a cloth face cover.
- Other patterns and designs can be found at Providence Hospital’s Million Mask Challenge.
- Join the Washington Mask Challenge to find patterns, instructions and tutorials and join the challenge to make some for others.
- If you’re new to sewing or want more pattern ideas, the Everett Public Library put together a how-to guide with video tutorials and links to patterns.
- No sewing machine? No problem. Check out this no-sew face cover tutorial from the CDC to make a cover using items you have around the home.
Make face coverings for your household, then check with your neighbors. Many don’t have the equipment, supplies or knowledge to make a face covering. Lastly, we encourage you to make face coverings for the Everett and Snohomish County community. You can help meet needs during this crisis in very tangible ways. See the "donating a face cover" tab to learn more.
How to care for cloth face covers:
Whether you made your own, purchased one at a store or online, or picked up a donated one from a neighbor or distribution site, it’s important to care for them properly and keep them clean so they are effective in preventing the spread of illness. Once you have your face covers in hand, wash them using hot water and detergent, or hand wash with hot water if a washing machine isn’t available.
- Wash your hands after handling the face covers.
- Dry the covers on high heat or leave in a warm, dry place until they are no longer damp. You can iron them to help keep their shape.
- When not in use, store cloth face covers in a clean, dry place. A resealable bag or container works great.
- Be sure to wash and dry the covers after each use. We recommend having at least two per person so one can be used while the other is being washed.
- Once a cloth face cover is showing signs of wear or is no longer holding shape to securely cover the mouth and nose, throw it away.
Instructions for making covers for others:
- After you finish making cloth face covers, put them in the washing machine and wash with hot water and detergent.
- Wash your hands thoroughly. Transfer covers from washer to dryer. Dry on high heat.
- Once the covers are dry, put on your own face cover and thoroughly wash your hands again – at least 20 seconds of scrubbing all over your hands with soap and warm, running water – before you remove the cloth face covers from the dryer. Place each one directly from the dryer into an individual, resealable plastic bag.
- Seal the bag and do not open it.
- Use the Cloth Face Cover Instructions sheet to print out, cut in half and tape to the outside of bags containing donated face coverings. These instruction sheets are also available at the same location where people pick up donated face covers.
- See below for donation site information.
Donation & distribution sites:
Everett Emergency Management continues to collect and distribute face covers thanks to the generous donations and excellent sewing skills of community members.
- Everett Emergency Management’s face cover donation and distribution sites are closed at this time. Check back here for future dates.
- Donation/distribution is available at the Volunteers of America Food Bank, 1230 Broadway, during their regular business hours.