Porter accepts hand-sewn masks; directions provided

MIDDLEBURY — It is not surprising that doctors and first responders on the front lines of the effort to contain the coronavirus pandemic are wearing facemasks to protect themselves around contagious individuals. But officials have been telling members of the general public that they didn’t need masks when grocery shopping or stepping out in public.
Now the U.S. Centers for Disease Control is reconsidering that advice, according to news reports. Due to the rising number of cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, government officials this week could update their advice and suggest that regular people going about the community — at least in well-travelled places like pharmacies and grocery stores — wear masks so as not to breathe in droplets containing the virus left in the air for a few minutes when an asymptomatic carrier of the virus sneezes or coughs.
Some U.S. health experts have been advising masks for more than a week, while masks have been more widely used in Europe and Asia since the outbreak of the coronavirus weeks ago.
In its COVID-19 newsletter this past Thursday, Porter Medical Center said that it was now accepting hand sewn mask donations. And it offered directions on how to make them.
The Center for Disease Control has already said that fabric masks are a crisis response option when other supplies have been exhausted. While Porter currently has enough supplies on hand right now, in order to build a strategic reserve Porter is now accepting donations of hand-sewn masks.
Donated masks can be dropped off at the Round Robin Upscale Resale Thrift Shop in the Marble Works plaza Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (you may leave them at the front door).
Whether making a mask for oneself or to donate to Porter, people are asked to adhere to the guidelines and information posted on the Hand Sewn Mask Donations page on the Porter website, which can be found here.
Materials for a basic mask include 100% unused cotton fabric and flat elastic or bias-tape. A sewing machine is used in video tutorials.
For specific dimensions refer to the written instructions that are online.
A video with instructions is online here. Links to these sites will appear with this story on the newspaper’s website,
For questions regarding how to make a mask donation to Porter Medical Center, contact Amy Barr, the hospital’s development director, at [email protected] or 388-4762.

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