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Disease Outbreaks

When it comes to disease outbreak, whether it be an epidemic or pandemic, preparedness and precautionary measures are vital to safety and health of ourselves and those around us. WVU Extension experts serve as a reliable resource during uncertain times to provide you with research-based tips and information to help protect your family and your community.

WVU Extension Mask Making Project

WVU Extension employees, 4-H clubs, retirees, CEOS groups and others are assisting in the sewing, collecting and distributing masks to health care workers, seniors and other community members throughout the state. 

This is a collaborative effort with Senator Joe Manchin, United Way of West Virginia, West Virginia Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster, Philanthropy WV, Senior Corps, the Robert C. Byrd Institute, the Council of Churches and many others to encourage West Virginians to pitch in and help our doctors, nurses, health care workers and first responders on the front lines of this pandemic. You can drop off masks at various locations throughout the state.

Help us track the great volunteer efforts you have provided by filling out and submitting the online form.

Tell us what masks you made

Make Your Own Masks

face mask

Download the Face Mask Template  (PDF)
(Provided by Artfully Quilted)


  • OR Linens or other breathable water repellant fabric.
  • Pins 1/4” or 3/8” wide.
  • Elastic – white or black.
  • Thimbles.
  • Fabric Scissors.
  • Heavy paper for patterns: 9” x 15” & attached mask pattern.
  • Cardboard – optional (**tip: use a 9.5” piece of cardboard to loop around 10-15 times to cut all at once to produce 20-30, 9.5” pieces).
  • Sewing Machine Thread.

PREP – Estimated time 3 minutes per unit

Station 1: Cutting

  1. Cut a rectangular 9” x 15” base paper pattern.
  2. Fold fabric in 4 layers Lay 9” x 15” base pattern on top of 4-layer fabric.
  3. Cut around the base pattern.

Station 2: Pinning

  1. Take 2 cut sheets and fold in half to make 4 layers.
  2. Cut mask pattern per attached sample (8.19 x 5.4”).
  3. Pin mask pattern to cut 4-layer fabric using 4 pins around the outside.

Station 3: Cutting

  1. Cut the fabric for the mask pattern.

Station 4: Finishing

  1. Remove pins and paper pattern from cut fabric.
  2. Separate 4 fabric pieces into 2 sections of 2 layers of fabric each.
  3. Pin 2 piece sections around curved edge vertically, every 2“.

Station 5: Elastic

  1. Cut elastic into (2) 9.5” sections.
  2. Insert (1) elastic into each 2-piece pinned section through the flatter open edge (opposite from the edge that is pinned).
  3. Check to be sure elastic is not twisted inside the section.
  4. Once elastic strip is inserted into the opening and placed flat in a U shape, center the new elastic ear loop and pin down each end of the elastic strip 3” apart - EVEN with the edge of the fabric (**tip: create a 3” line on your table as a guide**).
  5. Use your completed 2-piece section as a guide for the other section to keep ear loops even.
  6. Place a single pin through middle of the 2 sections to make one unit, ready for sewing.

Station 6: Quality Control

  1. Examine product and correct any defects before advancing to sewing.

Station 7: Distribution

  1. Count and log mask units before issuing for sewing distribution.
  2. Record the name of the person picking up inventory.
  3. Ensure timely turnaround time of assigned masks, and do not over allocate to a single sewing resource.

SEWING – Estimated time 7 minutes per unit

  1. Unpin the 2 sections pinned together.
  2. Place one 2-piece section on the machine and prepare to sew the edge with the elastic ends.
  3. Place machine on a zigzag stitch and sew along the entire edge.
  4. Line up second 2-piece section, place on the machine and sew the edge with elastic ends.
  5. Remove from the machine and take out the pins.
  6. Turn both sections inside out.
  7. For each section, sew a straight stitch on the same edge for extra stability for the elastic, ensuring the elastic is caught in the stitch.
  8. Place one section directly on top of the other section, line up directly on top of the other and prepare for sewing. Using a 5/8” seam for a small size mask and a 1/2” seam for a regular mask, zigzag stitch down the section that will be over the nose part of the mask, making sure all pieces are getting caught in the stitch.
  9. Backstitch to finish and cut loose threads.
  10. Open completed mask.
  11. Trim up any frays.
  12. Examine product and correct any defects.

WV Coronavirus Testing Sites

WVU Health Sciences Coronavirus News

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WVU Medicine Health Report: 2019 Novel Coronavirus

Other National Extension Resources

EDEN - Extension Disaster Education Network.