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Coronavirus Questions Answered: Do Homemade Cloth Masks Work?

BOSTON (CBS) – As more and more hospitals have raised concerns over running out of masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE), volunteers across the country have answered the call by sewing homemade masks.

Because these are not hospital-grade masks, questions have been raised about their effectiveness. So we asked Dr. Mallika Marshall.

"Hospital-issued face masks are the best option for protection against the novel coronavirus," Dr. Mallika said. "But if standard face masks are not available, homemade face masks made from scarves, bandannas, or sewn cloth can be used as a last resort.

"It is unclear what protection, if any, they provide and should be used in conjunction with a face shield whenever possible. But if you're on the front lines and your option is a homemade facem ask or nothing, choose the homemade face mask.

"Thank you to the legions of people around the country doing what they can to help healthcare workers in this fight."

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