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Maryville 9-year-old making masks as CDC recommends cloth face coverings in public

For about two weeks, Claire Hoard has been making masks for health care workers and her community. She's busier than ever as the CDC updates its recommendations.

MARYVILLE, Tenn. — Two weeks ago, Claire Hoard and her mother April started watching mask tutorials on YouTube. It seemed easy enough, so they gave it a shot.

Since then, they've made more than 200 for health care workers, friends and people in their community. By Monday, they hope to make another 100 masks.

"If we can do it, definitely anybody can do it for sure," said 9-year-old Claire Hoard. "We just want to spread love, not germs."

Claire uses a variety of materials and a sewing machine to ensure all of her masks can be washed and reused as much as they need to.

But the Centers for Disease Control said any type of cloth face covering will help slow the spread — even just an old t-shirt and rubber bands.

RELATED: How to make your own face mask without a sewing machine

Credit: April Hoard

New information showed COVID-19 can spread by speaking, coughing or sneezing even if someone is not showing symptoms.

"There is a greater number of people that are asymptotic than we previously thought," said Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the CDC. 

Cloth face coverings are recommended in public settings where it can be difficult to maintain social distancing like grocery stores or pharmacies, according to the CDC.

Face coverings do not replace social distancing guidelines, but rather prevent people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.

"They're wearing it to protect their neighbors from getting the coronavirus because again, they could have asymptomatic spread," U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said. "This is all about me protecting you and you protecting me."

"Spread love. Not germs." - Claire Hoard

If you choose to wear a face covering, Adams asked that you leave the medical supplies for those on the front lines.

"Please, please leave the N95 mask, the medical supplies for the medical professionals," Adams said.

That's part of why Claire and her mother April are stepping in to make masks for their neighbors.

"It makes them feel safe and makes them feel loved knowing that someone cares enough to take their time to make things for them," April Hoard. "We thought, the more the merrier because there's so many people in the community."

Credit: April Hoard
Claire Hoard has made more than 200 masks for the Blount County community.

Claire hopes she can serve as an example for other kids to get creative too.

"I think it's inspiring other people to do it," she said. "I want to help out the community."

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