Face Masks During COVID-19

All patients must wear a cloth face covering for appointments within our facilities. Find details on this policy by clicking here.

We also recommend EVERYONE wear a cloth or homemade face mask when going out in public. Fact is, you may have COVID-19 and not know it. Wearing a mask helps prevent the spread of the virus, and reducing the spread is our number one way to end this pandemic.

You are advised to NOT wear an N95 or a surgical mask. They are in short supply and to be saved for healthcare staff who work with COVID-19 patients face-to-face.

How to Get or Make a Mask

DO NOT come to the hospital or clinic to get a mask. You will need to make one using common materials you have at home (t-shirts, bandanas, coffee filters) or buy one. Two helpful links:

JOANN Fabric and Craft Stores 

CDC on homemade cloth masks

CNN on making your own mask

Guidelines for Using and Caring for Your Mask

A few things to remember, according to the CDC:

  • As soon as you get home, take off your mask and wash in the washing machine (unless it’s a coffee filter), and wash your hands.
  • The following people should NOT use a cloth face covering: children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
  • Click here to view the CDCs full recommendations.
  • DO NOT use furnace filters or other unknown materials. They may contain harmful fiber glass.

Donating Masks to Southwest Health

We are now able to accept donations of cloth masks. If you have a pattern you are using already, continue using that. You don’t need to wash it; we will wash them when we get them. If you need a pattern, please see below for a couple of links that contain patterns.

JOANN Fabric and Craft Stores 


If you would like to donate to Southwest Health, arrange a drop off time by calling Tammie Richter at (608)732-4937 or emailing her at richtert@southwesthealth.org. For everyone’s safety, please don’t drop off donations at the Front Desk.