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.
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)