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Face mask shortage spurs sewing enthusiasts into action

Hospitals across the country are asking people to sew them heavy-duty masks to help during the COVID-19 outbreak.

FORT WORTH, Texas — Calling all sewing enthusiasts!

Hospitals are starting to request cloth face masks, as they find themselves amidst a worldwide shortage.

“Community Help Needed!” Wise Health System in Decatur posted on Facebook Friday. “The critical shortage of masks worldwide is being felt at our hospital. If you can sew, we are asking our community members to assist during this time. We will have packets available to pick up today at 4pm at our ER entrance that will include all of the material, specific directions for compliance and the preferred mask template.”

Stillwater Medical Center in Oklahoma specified what they'd use the masks for.

"The donated masks will be used in other NON CLINICAL OR WORRIED WELL PATIENTS NOT REALATED TO COVID-19. This will allow us to save our N95 masks & other PPE for Healthcare Workers," they wrote.

Amy Bearden and her seamstress daughter, 14-year-old Tylie Sabbatini, had not only been noticing the requests from hospitals lately, but Bearden’s nurse sister had also expressed concern.

“My sister’s actually a critical care hospice nurse and she’s in and out of hospitals and people’s homes, very sick people’s homes,” said Bearden, who lives in Husdon Oaks. “And she’s actually only been given one mask a week so she needs extra masks.”

Some of the hospitals have even provided patterns online for masks, and Sabbatini got to work. 

Bearden says their family hopes to create 1,400 face masks in the coming weeks while practicing self-isolation. The masks have multiple layers of cotton and use elastic.

Bearden has posted on local Facebook groups, and she and her daughter are hoping to spur a movement. They plan to collect as many as they can and donate to hospitals in North Texas.

“So maybe it’s not meant to be the mask, the N95 mask, but at this point anything helps and all of the nurses are inboxing me saying please, I need a mask,” Bearden said.

“The great thing about these is they’re washable and reusable so you can have a couple of them, the nurse can have a couple, and use them as they need them and then wash them,” Sabbatini said.

If you’re interested in participating, here are some links with information:

Wise Health System Facebook page

Stillwater Medical Center Facebook page 

buttoncounter.com 

providence.org - mask challenge 

blog.providence.org/coronavirus/volunteers

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