PCD Volunteers To Sew Homemade Cloth Masks for Healthcare Workers

In an effort spearheaded by PCD's Lisa-Mae Costa, Sarah Garcia-Mata, and Jen Karl, faculty, staff, students, and community members are sewing homemade cloth masks to help ensure healthcare workers have adequate supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE). PCD's school nurse, Lisa-Mae Costa, will be collecting homemade masks from a dropsite and donating them to Miriam Hospital on behalf of the school. Staff at Miriam Hospital are now wearing surgical masks at all times for source control (source control is preventing the spread of respiratory droplets from one person to another), and the hospital has also approved the use of homemade cloth masks for this purpose. Using surgical and homemade cloth masks for source control allows healthcare workers to save specialized N95 and hospital grade masks for when they are caring for people who have or may have COVID-19.

Costa recently dropped off a first batch of homemade cloth masks to Miriam Hospital. Sewn by her mother and friends, Costa says, "they went fast and the staff was very appreciative."

How to Sew Homemade Cloth Masks

Making a cloth mask simply requires:

1) A few tools:

  • Needle and thread (or even a sewing machine!)
  • Scissors
  • Pins or clips to hold fabric in place (safety pins and paper clips also work)

2) And a few pieces of material:

  • 2 to 3 pieces of 9" x 6" cotton fabric
  • 2 flat (1/4") sewing elastics that are 7" long each (you can also make ties by using 4 18" strips of cotton fabric or 4 flat, clean shoelaces)

3) Costa recommends this video tutorial, or you can also check out these written directions.

How to Leave Finished Masks at PCD's Dropoff Site:

Costa has set up a dropoff site at PCD: look for the plastic bin under the bench in front of Murray House and leave any finished masks there. Costa will collect masks from the bin and donate them to Miriam Hospital.

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