St. Charles launches 10,000 (hand-sewn) masks campaign

St. Charles Health System is asking for the public’s help once again with the donation of masks—this time, hand-sewn ones.

More than 2,500 homemade masks have already been donated, and the health system is now hoping to get 7,500 more—enough to provide every caregiver with two masks that they can launder and reuse.

If St. Charles exceeds its 10,000-mask goal, the excess will be distributed among other groups in the area.

“We’ve received more offers than we can count to help sew masks and we are so grateful,” said Rod Marchiando, senior vice president of improvement and strategy. “We are truly fortunate to receive this level of support from our Central Oregon communities.”

Collaborating with health care professionals and volunteers, St. Charles has decided on a pattern that is both functional and comfortable for caregivers. After the masks are donated at one of a number of sites around the region, they will be professionally laundered by St. Charles in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations.

Starting Friday, the homemade masks—which are intended to help prevent asymptomatic spread of COVID-19 in public spaces—will be worn by caregivers who may come into contact with individuals who are not suspected of having an infectious disease. The hand-sewn masks are not approved personal protection equipment, or PPE, which must be worn by caregivers who are in contact with a person who is known or suspected to have COVID-19 or any other infectious disease.

The initial 2,500 hand-sewn masks were among the many thousands of items donated to the health system during its drive for medical supplies between March 20 and 27. Other items included:

  • N95 masks (4,434)
  • Lab coats (90)
  • Droplet masks (8,437)
  • Boxes of gloves (548)
  • Safety goggles and glasses (126)
  • Bottles of hand sanitizer (457)
  • Bottles of rubbing alcohol (83)
  • Bouffant caps (1812)
  • Face shields (52)

“We continue to be overwhelmed by the community’s generosity,” Marchiando said. “At a time when we need medical supplies most, individuals, families, schools and businesses are stepping forward to support our mission. We couldn’t be more thankful.”

For more information, including directions on how to sew the masks and the locations where they can be dropped off, visit https://www.stcharleshealthcare.org/covid-19/hand-sewn-masks

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