OWENSBORO, Ky. (WFIE) - Owensboro Health is looking for volunteers to sew handmade surgical masks for healthcare personnel.
The health system in Owensboro is reporting that its supply of manufactured surgical masks is running critically low due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
In response, health officials are asking people to help sew masks for medical professionals who are taking care of sick patients.
Officials say they are not worried about the masks looking stylish, but they are concerned about functionality. This means the masks must have no frayed edges, missing seams or holes.
Owensboro Health are asking people to consider the following points in order to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the masks:
- It is most helpful to use a standard pattern to ensure proper fit and function.
- Please use the following patterns. They are most similar to our current products.
- 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).
Once the masks are finished, volunteers should place them in a closed plastic bag or closed plastic box.
Owensboro Health says the drop-off location for all handmade masks will be posted on its website early this week.
For more information, please email Debbie Zuerner Johnson at Debbie.Johnson@OwensboroHealth.org.