MARQUETTE COUNTY — Healthcare professionals across the country are facing a shortage of face masks in the wake of COVID–19. Local group Masks for Marquette has decided to step up and do something about it—and they’re asking for help from anyone who is willing and able.
“We are recruiting people,” said Masks for Marquette organizer Sally Steen. “If you sew or know someone who does, please send them our way. Our goal is to make 10,000 masks, and we can easily give those out to a long list of people that have requested them.”
Steen and other organizers of Masks for Marquette want to make the public aware that there are specific instructions for making these masks, and those instructions can be found on the group’s Facebook page. Steen has spoken with local healthcare workers to ensure that these specific masks are effective, and so that the facilities receiving these masks know what they do and do not provide for those wearing them.
“There’s a pattern on our Facebook page, and we want everybody to use that same pattern,” explained Steen. “And there’s a reason. This pattern will fit over an N95 face mask, and that’s the preferred face mask for medical workers.”
These masks serve a twofold purpose. One purpose is to extend the life of the N95 masks. These masks are also equipped with a filter. Without a filter between the two pieces of fabric, the mask won’t be able to filter out the pathogens.
The masks will be distributed to workers at hospitals and nursing homes in order to keep them as safe and healthy as possible until they are able to acquire the proper equipment.
Masks for Marquette is inviting anyone who knows how to sew to pitch in and provide as many masks as possible. The group has already seen tremendous growth since their Facebook page launched over the weekend, and Steen says it’s been great to see so many community members work together to support our healthcare professionals.
“The response has been amazing,” said Steen. “We started the Facebook page on Friday, and by Sunday night we almost had 1,000 people on there. I think the main thing is it’s the community coming together to do something because we understand that the pressure is enormous for our healthcare workers. And we want them to know that they have our support. We want to do whatever we can to help; we’re not just leaving them out there on their own.”
If you would like to get involved but don’t know how to sew, there’s another way you can be of help. The group started a GoFundMe to raise money for mask supplies, such as the filters. You can find their GoFundMe here, and you can connect with Masks for Marquette via their Facebook page for more information.