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Home > Mercy News > Volunteer seamstresses step forward to help sew protective face masks
Published on March 20, 2020
Mercy Medical Center, like healthcare organizations across the county, is looking for ways to address the possibility of future shortages of protective face masks as the novel coronavirus continues to spread. Volunteer seamstresses have stepped up to help, and there’s room for more.
Earlier this week, Mercy volunteers began working with the hospital’s infection control team to determine guidelines and parameters for creating protective face masks to ensure they are properly made and can be safely used.
Mercy volunteer Laura Sagers is helping to coordinate the volunteer effort. “It’s heartwarming to be part of this community initiative that’s drawing volunteer seamstresses from all over eastern Iowa,” Sagers said. “Already, so many volunteers have contacted us and are making the masks. We anticipate having 1,000 available for use by early next week. The volunteers are just so pleased to be helping fill a need in a very tangible way.”
Sagers likens the mask-making effort to the filling of sandbags during the floods of 2008. This, she says, is another way for volunteers to step in and help make a difference.
Mask-making guidelines can be found at www.mercycare.org. The masks are intended to serve as a first line of defense in lower risk situations. For example, they could be used to cover N-95 masks to help keep them clean, allowing them to be used for longer periods of time. The masks can also be utilized by some hospital employees and for visitors.
Completed masks may be dropped off by pulling up to Mercy’s 10th St. entrance and putting the masks in a collection box. Mercy is located at 701 10th St. SE in Cedar Rapids. Drop-off hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays.
For questions regarding the collection or making of masks, email firstname.lastname@example.org.