Suncoast Residents Making Masks at Home to Help Shortage During Pandemic

Updated: Mar. 24, 2020 at 8:04 AM EDT
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - As states across the United States ramp up their Covid-19 response, many need help.

Right now, the biggest need is actually protecting those on the front lines inside our hospitals and clinics. Healthcare workers are desperately short of crucial protective gear to protect them against the highly contagious coronavirus.

As they work around the clock to treat sick patients, they themselves are now even more at risk because of the lack of supplies.

Here on the Suncoast, members of our community have stepped in to help by donating thousands of certified N95 to those who need it most. Recently, organizations have even began using this time of self-quarantine to sew masks at home.

“The CDC loosened the guidelines, especially for people who are caregivers or healthcare workers. If they have no protective equipment to have hand-made face masks that can be reused or recycled is better than having nothing. They also can be used over regular surgical masks to extend the life of those masks, so that they can have greater protection over time. We’re working together to get these masks disseminated to different organizations where just hearing that people are caring for them has really uplifted their spirits because this is very hard. They are working hard and around the clock in some instances to take care of patients,” Dr. Lisa Merritt, from the Multicultural Health Institute, explained.

Though the CDC says homemade masks are a last resort, with the shortage, Dr. Merritt is asking for everyone’s help in making masks if they can.

Below is a video from Jo-Ann Fabrics explaining how to make a face mask:

Jo-Ann Fabrics says they have free tools, supplies & guidance in their Creator’s Studios for making supplies to donate to hospitals. You can find additional information on their website.

Here is more information about face masks from the CDC.

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