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0000017b-652b-d50a-a3ff-f7efb02e0000KPCW's COVID-19 news coverage for Summit County and Wasatch County, Utah. 0000017b-652b-d50a-a3ff-f7efb02f0000You can also visit the Utah Department of Health, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization websites for additional information.

Locals Make Masks To Help Preserve PPD And Protect Friends And Family

COVID-19 has put extraordinary strain on hospitals and providers of healthcare. One highly reported shortage is in Personal Protective Equipment, referred to as PPE. Masks are particularly in short supply everywhere.
Basin resident Julia Collins calls herself a Sewist but it’s not her full-time job. No one would know based on the number of masks she’s jammed out over the past weeks. She just sent 60 colorful cotton mask covers to a couple of hospitals out of state.

“Sixty to date have been sent to Saint John’s hospital in Wyoming and the Presbyterian Medical Center in New Mexico.”

Collins says a friend, also a sewist, told her about the Sewing for Lives website. A Utah woman started the program to connect hospitals and healthcare professionals in need of mask covers with those who are willing to sew them. Listed on the website are hundreds of facilities all over the nation, addresses and a count of what they need.

“Led by a Utah woman who connects sewists with hospitals. And it has both the Facebook site and a website where you can learn about the different patterns, the patterns that hospitals or medical facilities are asking for and then where the mask covers that you're making will then go. [It’s] potentially a matchmaking site for sewists and medical care facilities.”

Collins says the website and Facebook pages gives enough direction on what each healthcare facility is looking for. There are also tricks of the trade that people share with one another.

“Previewed by other medical facilities and said yes, we will accept these. So, it alleviates that type of concern that you're making the proper mask or mask cover for the medical facility. And then also through that Facebook forum, you can see what other people are doing, whether there are shortcuts with serge’s or shortcuts with folding or ironing or, you know, just all these tips and tricks.”

Park City resident Lori Stevenson has been sewing all her life. She wanted to help make masks and donate them to local facilities. She thinks even after the initial COVID crisis passes people will be wearing masks for a while.

“Actually, I started looking for an organization to hook up with for distribution and I was looking for local hospitals. I found that they're not really accepting home-made masks. So, I just started sewing for friends and family.”

After some research, Stevenson found a pattern she thought looked good and went to work.

“They looked good. It’s got a filter pocket and it has a nice snug fit around your face. I’ve seen a lot of people walking around in surgical masks with big gapes on the side. I thought we could do better than that so I found a pattern and downloaded it and just started sewing."

To learn more about making COVID mask protectors go to: sewingforlives.com

KPCW reporter Carolyn Murray covers Summit and Wasatch County School Districts. She also reports on wildlife and environmental stories, along with breaking news. Carolyn has been in town since the mid ‘80s and raised two daughters in Park City.
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