Owensboro Health announced Friday their supply of manufactured surgical masks are at critically low levels throughout the nation and locally and they need the community’s help to get more.
Fabric surgical masks for healthcare personnel help them stay healthy while caring for patients.
Fabric masks offer the benefit of being able to be washed and re-used. Still, a large supply is needed, as each healthcare worker will need to change their mask several times during their shifts, as the mask becomes soiled or damp – for maximum protection. OH is encouraging those who can sew to help make more masks.
Non-matching fabrics, thread, binding strips are just fine – but a well-sewn mask with no frayed edges or missed seams or holes is important.
In order to make sure the masks are safe and as effective as possible, we ask that you consider the following points.
It is most helpful to use a standard pattern to ensure proper fit and function.
Recommended fabric for the outer portion of the mask includes heaver, non-stretch fabric such as denim, duck cloth, canvas, twill, or other tight woven fabric.
Recommended fabric for the inner lining and filter pocket can be other cotton, cotton-blend non-stretch fabric. It can be thinner and softer, but again recommended minimal or non-stretch.
Must be laundered in HOT water prior to sewing to prevent future shrinkage.
Polyester or other less breathable fabric will not work as well, due to moisture produced when breathing.
If using denim or other fabric that is being “recycled,” please be sure it is clean and in good shape. Worn or dirty fabric will not be protective.
Elastic should be in good shape, with plenty of stretch and of an appropriate size to fit over the ears. 1/16 inch round cord or 1/8 inch braided work best.
If elastic is not available, fabric ties can be sewn on the mask. There will need to be 4 ties (one tie on each of the 4 corners). Ties should be approx. ¼ inch in width, sewn in such a way that there are no frayed edges, and long enough to be tied into a bow on the top of the head (for the top corner and behind the head for the bottom corner).
Enclose completed masks in a closed plastic bag or closed plastic box.
OHRH will launder them prior to use so you do not need to wash them.
Contact Peggy Willis with questions. firstname.lastname@example.org, or 270-417-6259.
The Owensboro Health coronavirus hotline is available 24/7 by calling 877-888-6647. Call the hotline before seeking in-person care. More information from OH can be found here.
For the latest information and data on COVID-19 in Kentucky visit kycovid19.ky.gov or dial the Kentucky state hotline at 800-722-5725.
For the latest health guidelines and resources from the CDC, visit their website here.