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Community can help mask shortage

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Healthcare workers are worried they may not be able to replace their supply of "Personal Protective Equipment".

Local health department officials are asking the community to donate masks to help increase the needed supply of protective equipment for medical professionals.

Here at the "Sew What Shoppe" in Quincy…owner Shawn Hodges is making these masks that will be sent to local healthcare workers.

She also donated fabric for others in town to do the same.

"It is important though that they have to understand that it must be 100-percent cotton fabric, and then in this example here, this one was made so that the added protection can be inserted in between the two layers here."

"We're trying to find ways that we could really stretch this supply out. But, the realistic sense of this is it won't be too long before we don't have any supply left, and we need to pull that from any source that we can."

Health officials say you can help by donating masks you don't need.

They say masks from construction companies, dentists, or painting and dust masks you may have at home can be donated.

"So if you have a little bit of a supply, we think it would be a really honorable thing right now to get that to the front lines."

Hodges encourages anyone who can help to come forward.

"We have a very large for these masks. But just one isn't going to do it."

A community stepping up to answer a call for help.

You can drop off "personal protective equipment" donations at the Adams County Health Department, located at 330 Vermont Street in downtown Quincy.

Blessing Health System officials say individuals and organizations are now contacting them to volunteer to sew cloth masks.

Blessing officials say they are following CDC guidelines that will help them conserve the use of Personal Protective Equipment. They are doing this by placing the volunteer-made masks over a respirator N95 mask. They say this allows the mask to be worn for a longer period of time without being contaminated.

If you are interested in making masks, contact Blessing's Volunteer Services Office at (217) 223-8400, ext. 6820 or 6821 to pick up a packet. Packets will include fabric and instructions on how to make the masks. Volunteers will need a sewing machine and thread. There will be a dropbox for the homemade masks at Blessing Hospital’s circle driveway at 11th & Broadway.

Charity Bell

Multimedia Journalist at WGEM

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