Interested in face masks to fight coronavirus? Check out our coverage here

Faden Design Studios owner Romy McCloskey is in the process of making face masks for area residents in need. (Courtesy Romy McCloskey)
Faden Design Studios owner Romy McCloskey is in the process of making face masks for area residents in need. (Courtesy Romy McCloskey)

Faden Design Studios owner Romy McCloskey is in the process of making face masks for area residents in need. (Courtesy Romy McCloskey)

Medical providers and the general public alike are taking precautions against the coronavirus, and face masks are often in demand by residents in many parts of the U.S. Here is a roundup of stories Community Impact Newspaper has compiled across its coverage area regarding face masks, whether you want to create one yourself or acquire one.

Texas designer Romy McCloskey of The Woodlands, owner of Faden Design Studios, is making medical masks for those in need free of charge. Read more about her here.

McCloskey added the masks she is in the process of making will not be the same quality as medical-grade respirator masks, but they will offer some level of protection by following guidelines laid out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in case of a crisis.

Made by Sue owner Sue Pruente, who has a shop in Keller, Texas, is also creating her own face masks and offering them for sale.

“I cannot sit here and do nothing and treat this like a vacation,” Pruente said. “If I’ve got the fabric and the knowledge to make them quickly, how can I?”


Although the cotton masks do not meet Centers for Disease Control and Prevention standards for health care workers, they do provide a barrier of protection from sneezes, coughs and other particles, Pruente said. Among CDC standards for surgical masks are the ability to block large-particle droplets, splashes, sprays or splatter from the wearer’s nose or mouth, which a cotton face mask may have the ability to do. Read more about Pruente here.

Officials with Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville have released instructions on how to make hand-sewn face masks to donate to local hospitals. Find the instructions here.

Finally, Grapevine, Texas, business Must love Fabric is donating kits to make medical masks. Owner Phyllis Lively has distributed hundreds of kits, she said.

“When I came across the coronavirus, I thought, ‘You know what, I bet you we can make masks,’” Lively said. “Whether they're CDC-approved or not, it's something.”

Lively noted that the masks are not suitable for immediate use. Whoever picks the masks up has to have them sterilized before they are worn. Read more about the effort here.

In Lake Conroe, Texas, resident Nancy Gehr Garner said she decided to use her lifelong skill of sewing to provide face masks to those in need.

“I’ve got A&M fabric, and I’ve got 'Star Wars' fabric, and I’ve got mustache fabric, and I’ve got 'Duck Dynasty' fabric,” Garner said. “These people who are going to be wearing these masks are going to be adorable, and they’re going to be cheery!”

Read the full story on Garner here.

After hearing that local health professionals were in need of face masks, Mitch Lurie, owner of The Leather Sofa Co. in Lewisville, Texas, decided to use his custom furniture business to make 3,000 masks to donate.

“We’ve got sewing machines, and we've got professional seamstresses, so it was quite easy for us to transition,” Lurie said. “We just needed to find a pattern, fabric and elastic. Fortunately, a lot of the stuff that we use in making furniture, we were able to use and transition into making the masks.”

Read more about Lurie's efforts here.

Ian Pribanic, Wendy Sturges, Miranda Jaimes, Andy Li, Anna Herod and Andrew Christman contributed to this report.

Community Impact Newspaper staff



MOST RECENT

Austin and Travis County adopted new guidelines, recommending local residents wear face masks or fabric covering when out in public. (Christopher Neely/Community impact Newspaper)
5 coronavirus stories Austin-area readers might have missed

Readers might have missed the following five coronavirus-related stories.

Passover, a major observance for members of the Jewish community, begins April 8. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, many services are being held online. (Courtesy Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center of Houston)
Austin’s Jewish community prepares for Passover observance under quarantine

Synagogues and Jewish organizations in Austin have pivoted to offer online Passover Seders to families in lock down ahead.

Austin and Travis County adopted new guidelines, recommending local residents wear face masks or fabric covering when out in public. (Christopher Neely/Community impact Newspaper)
Austin health officials are tracking 8 clusters of confirmed coronavirus cases

The clusters are groups of coronavirus cases health officials know are related to one another.

For those looking to support area restaurants while also enjoying Easter dinner, here are eight restaurants offering takeout family meals in Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto.
Where to order Easter dinner, brunch to-go in Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto

For those looking to support area restaurants while also enjoying Easter dinner, here are eight restaurants offering takeout family meals in Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto.

A $4.3 billion project to improve I-35 through Central Austin will include a $600 million piece that will be provided by deferring other projects in the area. (Courtesy Texas Department of Transportation)
Local political leaders look to free up $600 million for I-35 by potentially waiting on local projects such as Loop 360, RM 620, US 79 and Parmer Lane

The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization is scheduled to vote April 13 on a list of projects to defer in order to fund an I-35 improvement project.

Pflugerville closed all city playscapes, pavilions and sports courts March 22. (Kelsey Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
GALLERY: 20 photos of Pflugerville while residents shelter in place

As residents stay in place to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, here is a photo gallery of the sights and scenes happening in Pflugerville.

David and Clare Hulama, co-owners of Bluebonnet Beer Co. in Round Rock, are selling beer to go and hand sanitizer amid coronavirus restrictions. (Taylor Jackson Buchanan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Bluebonnet Beer Co. in Round Rock innovating to overcome 'biggest challenge craft brewers have faced since prohibition'

From launching online sales for beer to go to selling hand sanitizer made by Banner Distilling Co. in Manor, David and Clare Hulama are trying to overcome coronavirus-related setbacks to their business.

Minerva, captured here, is an eastern screech owl in Northwest Austin who laid five eggs that are expected to hatch sometime in April. (Courtesy Merlin the Owl)
WATCH HERE: Northwest Austin webcam streaming owlet eggs set to hatch in April

A Northwest Austin resident set up a webcam to capture two owls raise their owlets.

Yesenia and Antonio Morales welcomed their fourth child, Luka, on March 31. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Pregnancies won't stop in a pandemic, but growing precautions leave expecting mothers uncertain and anxious

As the coronavirus tightens its grip on Austin and much of the world, inevitable human events such as pregnancy and childbirth are having to adapt in the new, cautious and socially distanced reality.

For Pflugerville-area residents with concerns about their symptoms, here is a list of in-person coronavirus testing sites. (Miranda Baker/Community Impact Newspaper)
Exhibiting coronavirus symptoms? Here are Pflugerville testing sites

For Pflugerville-area residents with concerns about their symptoms, here is a list of in-person coronavirus testing sites.

Williamson County added $2.5 million to a coronavirus relief fund April 7. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Williamson County adds $2.5M to coronavirus relief fund, reinstates weekly meetings

The Williamson County Commissioners Court meetings are being done virtually.