As cries for personal protective equipment (PPE) go out across the country, Highland County officials are asking volunteers to sew cloth masks, Highland County Public Information Officer Branden Jackman said in a press release on Wednesday.
According to Jackman, the masks will be issued to health care providers and those in public safety. The donated masks will be worn over N95 masks. They will also be issued to those who don’t have access to any PPE at all.
“We have a dwindling supply of personal protective equipment,” Jackman wrote in the release.
Masks should be made of 100 percent tightly woven cotton fabric. The fabric doesn’t need to be water-repellent. Masks can have cloth ties or elastic.
Though all donated masks will be laundered prior to being issued, those who are ill or live in homes with smokers shouldn’t sew or donate masks.
Those who would like to donate masks should email [email protected] to have them picked up.
Jackman asked those who sew masks to share photos on social media and with friends of the sewing and donation process to bring good news to timelines and feeds in the midst of so much grim news. Jackman encouraged those who share their work on social media platforms to tag their posts with “#WeAreHighland” so others can see the effort community members are putting forth to fight COVID-19.
In the last week, JoAnn Fabrics and others began publishing patterns and video tutorials to help volunteers sew masks.
According to The New York Times, health care providers are wearing homemade masks over surgical or N95 masks in an attempt to prolong the medical-grade masks’ lifespans.
The New York Times also reported that Dr. Nicole Seminara, a doctor at NYU Langone Health volunteering in the coronavirus ward, said, “Are they effective like an N95? No. We’re not claiming they are. If we had all the N95s in the world, it would be wonderful. But there’s a shortage right now.”
Reach McKenzie Caldwell at 937-402-2570.