As of May 1, 2020, it's required for Illinois residents to wear a mask in public places where social distancing isn’t possible. This applies to everyone except children under the age of two and people who aren’t able to tolerate wearing a face mask due to an underlying medical condition. 


The virus spreads via respiratory droplets when talking, sneezing, or coughing. By wearing a face mask, those infected can prevent these droplets from being spread further. Since some individuals are asymptomatic, the virus can be spread unknowingly; wearing a mask, even if you do not feel sick, can help keep everyone safe and slow the spread of COVID-19. Here are the CDC Guidelines for wearing a mask:


>> Fits snugly but comfortably against the side of the face 

>> Is secured with ties or ear loops 

>> Includes multiple layers of fabric 

>> Allows for breathing without restriction 

>> Can be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape 


Check out this video from our own Habitat team for ideas on how to make your own masks with common household fabrics.

>> For our first mask, we're using a silk scarf and hair ties.

>> Our second uses a cotton bandana and hair ties.

>> Lastly, to make our third mask, all you need is a clean sock and scissors.

There are many more ways to make a good face mask, so don't limit yourself to these materials. Just make sure they are CDC approved!



If you've already been making and selling your own face masks, consider adding a charitable twist and donating a portion of the profits to the Habitat Chicago COVID-19 Resiliency Fund. With your donation to our COVID-19 Resiliency Fund, more Chicago families will know what it feels like to be safe and healthy at home. 


If you'd rather not "do-it-yourself", there are many options to get a mask. Check with your local aldermanic office in Chicago to find out if they are distributing masks. Some local organizations, such as Masks4Chi, are giving away reusable masks to Chicagoans everywhere, but if you want to buy some yourself, support local Chicago businesses or nonprofits (here and here).



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