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FAQs

About The Challenge

What is the Million Mask Challenge?

Face masks are the first line of defense for healthcare workers battling the COVID-19 pandemic — but they’re globally in short supply. The Million Mask Challenge was launched to encourage all Oklahomans to join the effort and save the lives of patients while protecting healthcare workers.

As part of the challenge, we have launched a website with patterns for the items we need. Our supply chain team is available to guide manufacturers on the best way to help.

Who can help with the challenge?

The general public can help, but our scale of need requires high-volume manufacturers to join us. Additionally, donations from organizations which have existing supplies of masks are greatly appreciated.

What equipment is needed?

Individuals with basic sewing skills will find links to patterns and specifications on this page. People with access to a manufacturing facility which can produce larger quantities of masks, please call 405-271-1234 or email giving@oumedicine.com. If you have access to a 3D printer, please reference this page for information on printing face shields.

Where can I drop off masks?

In Oklahoma City, donations may be dropped off at The Children’s Hospital, 1200 Children’s Ave., from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Staff and volunteers will take donations while practicing social distancing to protect the public and patients.

In Tulsa, donations may be dropped off at Schusterman Center Clinic, 4444 East 41st St., from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

If you live in the Oklahoma City metro, and you would like to schedule a porch pick up of masks, please contact the OU College of Medicine Community Response Team at (405) 283-8479.

If I have access to a manufacturing facility, what should I do?

People with access to a manufacturing facility which can produce larger quantities of masks should call 405-271-1234 or email giving@oumedicine.com.

Can I help promote the campaign online?

Yes! We encourage you to tag @OUMedicine to share information about the challenge or when you post about how you are helping!

Are other donations welcome?

If you are part of an organization that can donate items — such as hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, face shields, safety glasses, thermometers and latex-free gloves — please visit the In-Kind Giving page for more information.

General Masking

What is universal masking?

Universal masking means every individual, whether an employee, patient or visitor, is asked to wear a mask. OU Medicine is proud to have instituted universal masking on our campus to help combat the spread of COVID-19.

Why should I wear a mask?

The use of face masks is critical in combating the spread of COVID-19. Virus droplets remain airborne after an infected person coughs or sneezes, which is why the CDC recommends people wear masks in public. Wearing masks protects everyone, including people who may have been exposed to the virus but aren’t currently showing symptoms.

How do I remove my mask?

Remove a mask by the loops and pull straight away from face. Wash your hands immediately.

Where should I wear my mask?

Masks should be worn any time you’re outside your home and around other people. This includes visits to the grocery store, medical offices or other public places.

Do I still need to stay six feet away from others if I’m wearing a mask?

Yes. Cloth masks are an additional safety measure to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The CDC still recommends keeping a distance of at least six feet, as well as frequent hand washing and other preventative actions.

What kind of mask should I wear?

The CDC recommends members of the public wear cloth masks, not medical grade face masks. Surgical masks and N-95 respirators are in short supply and should be reserved for healthcare workers and other first responders.

Cloth masks should:

  • Fit comfortably but snugly against your face
  • Be secured with ties or ear loops
  • Include multiple layers of fabric
  • Allow for breathing
  • Be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape

Where can I buy a cloth mask?

Cloth masks are available from most major retailers and can also be purchased online. However, to ensure your mask adheres to CDC standards, it is recommended to make your own mask.

How do I make my own mask?

If you sew, we recommend using this pattern for your cloth mask. For no-sew options using household items like T-shirts and bandannas, visit the CDC website for instructions.

Who should not wear cloth masks?

Cloth masks should not be worn by:

  • Children younger than two years of age
  • Anyone who has trouble breathing
  • Anyone who is unconscious or incapacitated
  • Anyone who is unable to remove the mask without assistance

How do I wear my mask?

To put on the mask, bring it toward your face and pull the loops behind your ears. Ensure the mask covers your nose and mouth. Adjust nose piece (if applicable) for a secure fit. Remove the mask by the loops and pull it straight away from your face.

Do I need to wash my hands after handling my mask?

Yes. If you touch your mask, immediately wash your hands or sanitize. Wash your hands immediately after removing your mask.

How often should I clean my mask?

Cloth masks should be washed after every use using a washing machine and tumble dry on low.

Are cloth masks considered personal protective equipment (PPE)?

No. Personal protective equipment, or PPE, refers to surgical masks, N-95 respirators and KN-95 masks. Cloth masks are not classified as PPE.

Is there enough PPE for medical professionals?

PPE is in short supply, and as medical professionals treat more and more patients, the need for PPE will increase. The global supply continues to be uncertain, and we are actively taking steps to secure more desperately needed equipment. OU Medicine has launched the Million Mask Challenge to help provide more masks as soon as possible.

How can I help?

Join the challenge! Sew masks, connect us with local manufacturers and spread the word on social media by tagging @OUMedicine.