Gov. Walz launches statewide ‘Homemade Mask Drive’

On Saturday, Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan launched a week-long statewide homemade mask drive to encourage Minnesotans to create homemade masks for donation and highlight the importance of workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Starting April 25 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Minnesotans can deliver homemade masks to their local fire department.

Fire departments will then deliver the masks to local congregate living facilities for their employees and residents to wear.

“Those working in congregate living facilities are on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Gov. Walz. “While homemade masks will not replace personal protective equipment, they go a long way in preventing the wearer’s germs from infecting others. I am asking Minnesota’s crafters, sewers, and creatives to step up and help out their community.”

Face mask design patterns and instructions can be found online and below:

  • Build a mask that tightly encloses the area around the nose and mouth, from the bridge of the nose down to the chin, and extending onto the cheek beyond the corners of the mouth, so no gaps occur when talking or moving.
  • Use mask material that is tightly woven but breathable. Double-layer the fabric if possible.
    • Masks must be made from washable material such as fabric. Choose a fabric that can handle high temperatures and bleach without shrinking or otherwise deforming.
  • The mask should be tolerant of expected amounts of moisture from breathing.
  • Suggested materials:
    • Outer layer tea cloth
    • Inner layer of a microfleece to wick away moisture
    • Use an accordion fold to mimic a hospital mask as much as possible
    • Use a fat woven shoelace type material to bind the sides (such as quilt binding)
    • For straps, use elastic straps that loop behind the ears.

“As Minnesotans, we have always come together to help each other through hard times. Wearing a mask is one of the ways we can protect each other,” said Lt. Governor Flanagan. “I am grateful for Minnesotans’ time, generosity, and talent, and I look forward to seeing the donations come in next Saturday.”

"Every community has a local fire station ready to respond in times of need, and the COVID-19 pandemic is no different,” said John Harrington, Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. “We’re grateful for the partnership of fire departments across the state for helping us get homemade masks delivered to where they’re needed most.”

The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings to protect others from COVID-19.

Cloth face masks can help prevent the wearer from infecting others – especially in situations where they may spread the virus without symptoms.

Cloth face masks are not a proven way to prevent COVID-19 from infecting the wearer.