UpWrap Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I wear a fabric face mask?  

It is critical to slow the spread of COVID-19. Social distancing, self-isolating, and practicing good hygiene are the best tools we have at this time to protect ourselves and others, especially healthcare workers and at-risk communities. As we begin to go back to work, it will be ever more important to minimize the further spread and possible resurgence of the virus. 

With up to 25% of the population asymptomatic, face masks are important to prevent these infected individuals from unknowingly spreading the disease at this critical time when economies slowly re-open and the world returns to work. 

With surgical masks in limited supply, reserved only for vital healthcare workers, many have turned to buying alternative options or making their own. Depending on the fabric and craftsmanship, a homemade mask can replicate the effectiveness of medical-grade personal protective equipment.

How do I use the mask?

Before applying, wash hands thoroughly with alcohol-based soap and water. Start by inserting a disposable filter (if desired) inside the mask. Place the mask over your face and nose, tying the straps behind your head to hold it in place.

Do I need to use a filter in the mask?

No. Paper filters are not essential but they help to screen out bacteria and viruses, adding further protection to your mask. While cloth masks alone do provide protection, their large pore size can restrict air-filter.

What can I use as a filter?

We recommend using any HEPA (high-efficiency particulate absorbing) filter. Suggestions include: vacuum cleaner bags, double ply paper towels, air conditioner filters, and coffee filters. The filters should be cut to fit within the filter pocket of your facemask.

How often do I need to replace my filter?

The filter should be replaced after each use of the mask.

How often do I need to wash my fabric facemask?

Face masks should be washed daily after each use.

Are UpWrap Face Masks approved for medical use?

No. These masks are not replacements for N95 masks. N95 masks are in short supply and should be reserved for frontline healthcare workers or people at the highest risk.

UpWrap face masks are not intended for use in the diagnosis of disease or other conditions or in the cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease and do not meet the definition of a medical device as set forth in section 201(h) of the FD&C Act. 

How do I know this will fit?

The masks generally fit one size. However, if you find your mask is too small, try tying a household object such as a shoelace or elastic band around the end of each strap to lengthen them. Alternatively, if your mask is too big, try tying a small knot on each strap to shorten them.

A mask is only effective if worn properly, fitting securely from the top of the nose to below the chin with no space in-between. Masks should be worn each time you go outside, and should not be moved up and down. While no mask is guaranteed to be 100% effective, if combined with regular hand washing and social distancing, it can provide reliable protection.

How can I make my own face mask?

Please visit our homepage to find an UpWrap face mask toolkit.

Other helpful resources:

The CDC provides up to date information on the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, and includes additional helpful information and guidance on slowing the spread and keeping our communities sage.

The New York Times is providing free access to all COVID-19 related content during the pandemic. And, here is their User’s Guide to Face Masks.

UpWrap’s volunteer effort is coordinating the manufacture and delivery of face masks to at-risk communities in dire need of personal protection equipment. Deaconess Health System has also created a database of organizations in need here.