Published On: Tue, Apr 7th, 2020

Where to get a face mask if you’re not a medical worker

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently changed its guidance on face masks to recommend that all Americans wear some kind of cloth face covering in public to avoid transmitting the coronavirus to others.

The public health authority is still urging the general public not to wear surgical masks or N-95 respirators, which are in short supply, in order to save them for health care workers. But a basic cloth face covering is recommended for use in settings like grocery stores and pharmacies, where it’s hard to avoid coming into close contact with others. 

The virus is mainly spread from person-to-person through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks in close proximity to others, according to the CDC. The agency offers instructions on how to fashion masks out of household materials like t-shirts, bandanas and coffee filters, even for those without sewing skills. 

“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,” the CDC says on its website. 

Why should you wear a mask in public? Dr. Agus explains

The good news is that fashion designers have also risen to the occasion and are fabricating masks for general use. Bu they’re in such high demand that if you order one now, it could be at least a couple weeks before it arrives at your doorstep.

For now, disposable face masks are unavailable across many large retailers’ websites, including on Amazon.com, where a pack of 50 disposable face covers won’t be delivered until June. Single-use face masks with ear loops are also sold out at cvs.com.

So where can you find a mask, and how quickly will you get one? Here are some companies that are making and selling masks to the public. 

Buck Mason

Classic menswear maker Buck Mason is selling a 5-pack of non-medical, reusable cotton face masks with anti-microbial properties. While its design isn’t a replacement for medical-grade personal protective equipment, the company is donating 100,000 washable masks to essential workers in California. Masks purchased through its website will ship the week of May 4, according to the company. 

“The transition from a manufacturing standpoint was quite seamless, as we’re sewing cotton with single-needle stitching, a technique that is very common in apparel production,” Buck Mason co-founder Sasha Koehn told CBS MoneyWatch. 

Making masks has also helped the manufacturer keep its workforce employed even as many fashion brands scale back, Koehn said.

Custom Ink

Online custom t-shirt maker Custom Ink has recently begun selling cloth masks made from a soft jersey fabric for use by the general public outside of the home. The e-tailer is selling 12-piece “family packs” for $30 each and 120-unit packs for $240. Masks come in black and are machine cut from a single piece of fabric. They are estimated to ship on April 16.

Etsy

Online marketplace Etsy, which features homemade wares from thousands of sellers, said it has seen demand for fabric face coverings spike since the CDC made its recommendation. It has sold hundreds of thousands of masks, with more than 10,000 sellers making a mask sale in the last week, CEO Josh Silverman wrote in a recent blog post. The company is encouraging those who possess the skills and materials to consider creating and selling masks on Etsy.

Hedley & Bennett

Chef wear company Hedley & Bennett has retooled its factory in Vernon, California, to produce masks it designed in tandem with a pediatric orthopedic surgeon. It says the items are not FDA-approved and are not substitutes for surgical masks or N95 respirators. But they are suitable for the general public, and cost $22 per mask. Expect to wait one to two weeks for delivery.

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Chef wear company Hedley & Bennett is making face coverings out of the factory where it normally makes aprons and other chef gear. 

Hedley & Bennett


Los Angeles Apparel

Clothing maker Los Angeles Apparel is selling a pack of three cotton face masks for $30 on its website. They are in stock and ready to ship immediately.

REI

A variety of bandanas and balaclavas are immediately available through outdoor retailer REI’s website.

Sanctuary

Los Angeles-based womenswear company Sanctuary is selling a five-pack of fashion masks in an assortment of prints that will ship April 19. The masks are available for pre-order through the company’s website for $28.



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