In a reversal of earlier guidance that Americans don’t need to wear face coverings in public in order to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, the White House is expected to announce in the coming days that wearing a mask, or covering the face with a bandana or scarf, is in fact advisable, according to memos created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and shared with the White House this week.
In a copy of the guidance obtained by the Washington Post, the CDC recommends that “the community use of cloth masks as an additional public health measure people can take to prevent the spread of virus to those around them.” President Donald Trump added in a press briefing on Thursday that “I don’t think it will be mandatory,” and a White House official told the Post that the guidance would be “narrowly targeted to areas with high community transmission.” That largely tracks with what medical professionals told GQ earlier this week: that wearing a cloth mask isn’t a perfect solution, but it’s better than not doing anything.
The memos and guidance that the CDC shared with the White House clarify that N95 respirators and surgical face masks, both of which are in critically short supply, should be reserved for healthcare workers. So if you’re going to wear a mask—and you should; just listen to these experts—what are your options? Here is a running list of designers and manufacturers who are creating non-medical grade masks—we’ll update as more information becomes available.
Ball and Buck
For the masked sportsman. Ball and Buck’s camo mask will keep you safe(r) on a trip to the grocery store, and also well camouflaged in the deer blind. Original camo mask, $20
Can a face mask be…sexy? Check out Maison Modulare’s French lace version and tell us we’re wrong.
Natalie Chanin is a longtime practicioner of “slow design,” making hand-sewn and machine-made womenswear garments in her factory in Florence, Alabama. All her pieces are made from 100% organic cotton sourced from the Texas Organic Cotton Marketing Cooperative in Lubbock Texas. Her non-medical grade masks are made from tight-weave cotton that is less permeable than standard cottons, and are washable and reusable.