SASKATOON -- In the wake of the U.S. Centre for Disease Control's recommendation for Americans to start wearing homemade cloth face masks when going out, the leader of the Saskatchewan NDP is calling for the practice to be adopted here in the province.

"Every day thousands of people are going to pharmacies, grocery stores, medical appointments, their jobs. Because they have to. Which is why we have to use every measure available to protect people,” NDP Leader Ryan Meili said in a news release.

The release makes reference to an “emerging public health consensus” that wearing the masks might help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

On Sunday, Meili posted a video tutorial showing how to make simple cloth masks at home, using items such as hair ties, cotton fabric and paper towel.

"This is one of the ways we can stop the spread of the virus and make sure the masks that are designed for health care work are with healthcare workers," Meili said in the video.

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The video also includes tips on how to more safely remove a mask after a trip out.

In another video where Meili — who is also a physician — demonstrates how to make a mask out of a t-shirt, he emphasizes that wearing a non-medical mask is meant to be in addition to steps already being taken.

"This is in addition to those physical distancing measures, not shaking hands, saying six feet away from people, staying home every chance you get."

Call for Crown corps to make masks

On Monday the NDP pressed the province to enlist the help os Saskatchewan Crown corporations and businesses to help manufacture non-medical masks.

"The province can play an important role in advancing mass production of made-in-Saskatchewan cloth masks," Meili said in a news release.

"I urge the province to step up and help spur Saskatchewan ingenuity to get this moving.”