City of Independence, Missouri

COVID-19: Cloth Face Coverings

Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19 by Wearing Face Coverings

Face coverings are encouraged for anyone that has not yet been vaccinated. Learn more regarding the Safer Independence Guidelines here.

Mask exceptions include:

  • Minors below the age of 5; and 
  • Persons who have disabilities for which masks constitute a substantial impairment to their health and well-being based upon medical, behavioral, or legal direction; and 
  • Persons who are in a restaurant or tavern and are actively engaged in consuming food or drink while adequately distanced from other patrons. 
  • Persons who are obtaining a service involving the nose or face for which temporary removal of the face covering or mask is necessary to perform the service.
  • Professional athletes and recreational athletes actively engaged in high-intensity, organized game play.  

How to Wear a Cloth Face Covering

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the CDC makes the following recommendations.
Download printer friendly instructions from the CDC  

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

The Dos and Don’ts of Wearing a Cloth Face Covering


  • Wear a cloth face covering when running essential errands.
  • Practice social distancing, even with the cloth face covering on in public.
  • Take the cloth face covering off by the ear elastic or untying it at the back when you get home and wash it as soon as possible.
  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds after removing the cloth face covering and on a regular basis.


  • Touch the cloth face covering without washing your hands.
  • Play with the cloth face covering while wearing it.
  • Take the cloth face covering off by grabbing the center fabric near your mouth and nose.
  • Share cloth face covering with others in your household without washing them first.

CDC on Homemade Cloth Face Coverings

The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. 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.

Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks nor N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.


Should cloth face coverings be washed or otherwise cleaned regularly? How regularly?
- Yes. They should be routinely washed depending on the frequency of use.

How does one safely sterilize/clean a cloth face covering?
- A washing machine should suffice in properly washing a face covering.

How does one safely remove a used cloth face covering?
- Individuals should be careful not to touch their eyes, nose, and mouth when removing their face covering and wash hands immediately after removing.

Sew and No Sew Instructions

Visit the CDC website for instructions on how to sew cloth face coverings.

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