September 20, 2020

Stevens County Times

Your spot for community news in Stevens County, Minnesota

Helping out one stitch at a time

Cheryl Miller of Hancock is sewing face masks to be used by healthcare workers in local sites. She has made 50 so far which are being used at Assisted Living facilities in Morris.

People are trying to do their part to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in even the smallest ways. Cheryl Miller of Hancock, homebound and anxious to do something, she decided to get out her sewing machine and do something useful.

Miller heard about the shortage of face masks to protect emergency workers which also has an effect on other people. She found a site that gives instructions on how to make washable fabric masks that were once used by hospitals. The masks can be sterilized and used repeatedly.

The website gave detailed information on how to sew the masks. The fabric needs to be cotton with a white color on the inside. Elastic is attached to be wrapped around the ears.

The supply chain of N95 respirator masks can not meet the demand. These fabric surgical masks reduce the odds of inhaling large, infectious particles. Also using the masks, are medical staff in other situations and assisted living or nursing homes staff. Chemotherapy patients are one of the at-risk groups for any germs and they would be able to use these types of masks.

Miller recently completed 50 masks which were given to Pat Swenson who will use them at the Assisted Living facilities in Morris where she works. Swenson would accept more masks if other people in the area would like to make some. She can be contacted at 612-916-3151. Instructions on how to make them can be found on the Deaconess Health System website.

If you can’t sew, you can supply materials. Miller has a need for 1/4 or 1/8 inch wide elastic or fabric that is 100% cotton. You can pre-cut the elastic to 7” long and the fabric to 6”x9”. These can be left on the door handle in the garage at their home in Hancock or placed in the drop box at the Stevens County Times and we will get them to her.