IYR Guidance on Facemasks 

Why are we required to wear masks at work?

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) is now recommending that we wear a cloth face-covering whenever we are in a community setting, especially in situations where we may be near other people. These settings include grocery stores, pharmacies, and our own IYR workplaces. Remember: These face coverings are not a substitute for social distancing.

 What type of mask should I use at work?

The CDC says that 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

When should I wear my mask at work?
In addition to social distancing, you must wear a mask in your worksite whenever you are working in the same room or in the vicinity of others. You may remove your masks when you are working in an individual office with no other persons present.

How should I remove my mask?
The CDC recommends that when you remove your mask you should avoid contact with your eyes, nose, or mouth, and then immediately wash your hands. 

Where can I get a mask?
Some Social Enterprise staff are making masks, and their priority is to supply IYR staff. If you need a mask, let your supervisor know. Supervisors will pass their staff needs through the chain of command to the VP of Social Enterprise, and masks will be distributed to those who need them.

Can I make my own mask?
Yes! You can make cloth face coverings from household items or common materials at low cost. There are many examples and tutorials for making masks available on-line.  Attached are 3 examples from the CDC.

How and how often should I clean my mask?
The only guidance from the CDC on cleaning masks is that “they should be routinely washed depending on the frequency of use” and that a washing machine should be enough to properly wash your cloth face covering. Additional IYR Tip: If your washing machine has a “sanitized” cycle, use it when you wash your mask.

Making Your Own Mask

Sewn Cloth Face Covering


  • Two 10”x6” rectangles of cotton fabric
  • Two 6” pieces of elastic (or rubber bands, string, cloth strips, or hair ties)
  • Needle and thread (or bobby pin)
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine


  1. Cut out 2 10-by-6-inch rectangles of cotton fabric. Use tightly woven cotton, such as quilting fabric or cotton sheets. T-shirt fabric will also work. Stack the 2 rectangles; you will sew the mask as if it was a single piece of fabric.
  2. Fold over the long sides ¼ inch and hem. Then fold the double layer of fabric over ½ inch along the short sides and stitch down.
  3. Run a 6-inch length of 1/8-inch wide elastic through the wider hem on each side of the mask. These will be the ear loops. Use a large needle or a bobby pin to thread it through. Tie the ends tight. Don’t have elastic? Use hair ties or elastic headbands. If you only have string, you can make the ties longer and tie the mask behind your head.
  4. Gently pull on the elastic so that the knots are tucked inside the hem. Gather the sides of the mask on the elastic and adjust so the mask fits your face. Then securely stitch the elastic in place to keep it from slipping.
Quick Cut T-shirt Face Covering (no-sew method)


  • T-shirt
  • Scissors



Bandana Face Covering (no-sew method)


  • Bandana (or square cotton cloth approximately 20”x20”)
  • Rubber bands (or hair ties)
  • Scissors (if you are cutting your own cloth)


Screen Shot 2020-04-15 at 5.05.13 PM