In the next few days, I anticipate that the CDC will endorse the wearing of face masks in public places. Homemade face masks can play a role here, and I will be offering a limited quantity of these to members of Larew Internal Medicine, beginning Monday, April 6th.
Please keep these points in mind:
- N95 masks worn by health care providers while treating COVID-9 patients have a filtration rate of 95%.
- Surgical masks have a 62-65% filtration rate.
- Homemade masks, because there is no official quality control, have a very wide filtration rate ranging from as low as 1% up to a high of 79%. These masks can be used for day-to-day activities such as going to the grocery store and are a good addition to other safety measures including handwashing and social distancing. However, they are clearly not intended to be a replacement for standardized medical masks designed for the care of people with COVID-19.
Our homemade masks are very good quality: double layered and made of heavyweight “quilters cotton” with a 180 thread count. It is important to have a good fit, so make sure it covers your nose and mouth snugly with no gaps. If used daily, please wash with detergent/soap and hot water at the end of each day.
We will have 50 homemade masks available for members of Larew Internal Medicine on Monday, April 6th. If you would like one, please call the office on Monday and let us know you are coming. We’ll confirm that one is available and we’ll be ready for you. When you arrive, please park outside the office and let us know you are here, and a member of our staff will bring your mask out to you.
Thank you and stay well,
Richard Larew, MD