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Crossing Rivers Health in need of cloth face masks

Hospital news | Friday, May 8, 2020

Prairie du Chien, WI - Crossing Rivers Health is very grateful to the generous and talented community members that have made and donated hand sewn masks. Additional masks are needed. These masks will be made available for anyone entering Crossing Rivers Health facilities, allowing the professional protective gear to be used exclusively for healthcare professionals who are at higher risk of exposure. Donations of cotton material is also being collected, to provide to generous mask makers around the communities. Individuals that would like to help can find mask specifications, created by the Centers for Disease Control, at The masks may be dropped off in the black bin marked "Donations" inside the Crossing Rivers Health North Entrance from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The following is important information from the CDC, outlining the safe use of cloth face coverings:

How to Wear Cloth Face Coverings

Cloth face coverings should:

  • Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
  • Be secured with ties or ear loops
  • Include multiple layers of fabric
  • Allow for breathing without restriction
  • Be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape

CDC on Homemade Cloth Face Coverings

CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.

Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure. Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the cloth face covering without assistance. The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.

Should cloth face coverings be washed or otherwise cleaned regularly? How regularly?

Yes. They should be routinely washed depending on the frequency of use, ideally after each use, or at least daily. Keep used masks in a bag or bin until they can be washed. Using a washing machine, launder using hot water and detergent and dry on a hot cycle. After washing, place clean masks in a breathable bag or container until ready to wear.

How does one safely use a cloth face covering?

Avoid touching your face when putting on a mask. Wash or sanitize hands before putting on a mask. If a mask must be re-worn, wash or sanitize hands after putting the mask on. Keep the mask in a breathable bag or container between uses. Individuals should be careful not to touch their eyes, nose, and mouth when removing their cloth face covering and wash hands immediately after removing.

Please keep in mind our best defense against COVID-19 is washing our hands frequently, avoiding touching our eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands, avoiding being around sick people and physical distancing, especially by staying at home.