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Fabric shop donates cotton face masks, Texas Tech doctor gives tips for proper protection

Updated: Apr. 22, 2020 at 6:57 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - As one fabric shop in Amarillo stays open to donate face masks to the community and front-line workers, a doctor from Texas Tech gives some tips on proper hygiene and protection with homemade masks.

“We decided to help the community, because you need to in a time like this,” said Kelly Paulk, owner of The Muse fabric shop. “You need to come together with everyone, goodness. This is the time to do it, and as you can see, we have lots of fabric. Lots of cotton fabric, which is what they were looking for, so we decided it was a perfect fit.”

Now that Paulk has an abundant supply of fabric, she needs help from the community to reach a goal of donating 10,000 face masks.

“We still need people to know that masks are available,” said Paulk. “We’re happy. We’re taking a donation if they want to give it, but we’re not selling these masks. We want people to have them, to feel comfortable, to feel safe.”

Along with feeling safe and comfortable, a doctor from Texas Tech says that using a mask that is comfortable is very important.

“The most important thing is a mask that fits, that’s comfortable and that’s durable when you can wash and reuse it,” said Dr. Young, chair of family medicine at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. “If you can do all those things, and it stops you from wanting to take it on and off constantly and having your hands up against your face, then that’s going to help decrease spread.”

Dr. Young recommends washing these fabric masks regularly with warm to hot water and standard detergent. He also suggests taking off a mask from the back (either behind the ears, or tied behind the head) to avoid contact with airborne germs from the front of the mask.

“It’s important that the mask fits well and is comfortable both in terms of fit and breathability, to keep you from constantly wanting to adjust or remove it,” said Dr. Young. “If it is uncomfortable, you are less likely to wear it in the first place, more likely to take it off frequently, and more likely to try to adjust it to make it fit better. That means you have your hands in your face more frequently, which increases your likelihood of getting sick yourself, and increases the likelihood you could spread it to others if you have been infected and aren’t wearing a mask because it’s uncomfortable.”

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