CHEYENNE – As Wyomingites prepare to slowly start venturing out more in public again, wearing protective masks will be a big part of ensuring that COVID-19 doesn’t spread any further.
Dr. Alexia Harrist, Wyoming’s state health officer, said at a news conference Tuesday that although people don’t need to wear face coverings when they’re alone or with household members, they should wear face coverings in public places, such as a grocery store, where social distancing isn’t always possible.
A face covering includes any cloth covering that covers a person’s face or mouth, and, according to Harrist, will help Wyoming contain the virus. Though it doesn’t prevent someone from getting the virus, it will help prevent an asymptomatic person from spreading it.
Harrist emphasized that social distancing is still a critical part of limiting community spread of the novel coronavirus, as well.
Masks can be purchased, gifted or made. Here is a roundup of some ways to obtain one:
Many individuals and businesses are organizing efforts to donate masks, which are in short supply, specifically to health care workers.
However, even if the big box retailers like Walmart or Amazon are sold out of masks at the moment, there are a few options for people looking for cloth face masks.
Facebook: The Facebook group “Oops.. I ran out of...” was created by and for Laramie County residents who are short on certain items. Several posters have commented about making and selling masks over the past month. The group is open to the public, and anyone can join to inquire about picking up masks in the Cheyenne area.
Etsy: Etsy is an online retail center where small business owners can sell a variety of items, including masks. Log onto Etsy.com and search “masks,” and you’ll find thousands for sale.
MaskClub.com: The site launched in mid-April as a monthly fabric mask subscriptions service. You can sign up on their website, and for each mask you get, MaskClub will donate another.
OfferUp.com is a local marketplace website where people can buy and sell items – and there are plenty of cloth face masks for sale on the Cheyenne page.
How to make them
Around the Block Quilts isn’t selling any already-made cloth masks, but it is giving out kits to allow people to make their own. Anyone who wants to learn how to make one of Barb Boyer’s masks can refer to her latest Around the Block newsletter at www.aroundtheblockquilts.com.
Alliance Brew Gear is a newly launched Cheyenne-based coffee supply company that’s donating coffee filters for people to use to make their own masks. The company’s websitehttps://alliancebrewgear.com/ also includes complete instructions on how to make a coffee filter mask.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also posted a guide on its website detailing how to make cloth face coverings. A shortened link to the page is www.tinyurl.com/cdcclothmasks.