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Etsy encourages sellers to make face masks

Face mask purchases are surging on the site, the company says.

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A woman sewing handmade face masks in Spain last month. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends that people in the states wear nonmedical, cloth face masks when they leave home. But medical-grade masks, like N95 respirators, shoul

A woman sewing handmade face masks in Spain last month. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends that people in the states wear nonmedical, cloth face masks when they leave home. But medical-grade masks, like N95 respirators, should be left for health workers, who face much greater risk of exposure.

Cesar Manso/Getty Images

As the US struggles to fill a coronavirus-driven demand for more personal protective equipment, Etsy, the online seller of homemade goods, is encouraging its network of sellers to make face masks. The move comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an updated set of guidelines on wearing face coverings in public, including homemade face masks

Etsy said in a Tuesday blog post that hundreds of thousands of face masks have been sold through the site each day in the past week, and that "face mask" was the most frequently searched term on Etsy in the past two weeks.

"While tens of thousands of sellers have already augmented their product offerings to include fabric face masks, demand will very likely outpace our sellers' existing supply. That's why we are continuing to let sellers know that those with the skill and materials may want to consider creating and selling face masks on Etsy," the company said in a statement. 

In its statement, Etsy emphasized that sellers are prohibited from making medical claims about advertised products. 

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