Patterns for simple to make face masks are available online. Submitted photo

Scraps from leftover projects can be quickly made into face masks. Submitted photo

FARMINGTON — United Way Needs more hand sewn masks to help with COVID-19 pandemic
As we all know, the CDC continues to study the spread and effects of the novel coronavirus across the United States. They have shared from recent studies that a significant portion of individuals with coronavirus lack symptoms and that even those who eventually develop symptoms can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms. This means that the virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity—for example, speaking, coughing, or sneezing—even if those people are not exhibiting symptoms. In light of this new evidence, CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. CDC is advising the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure. These cloth face coverings are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.
In this light, United Way could use your help! We have been fortunate to have a corps of wonderful volunteers making masks (147 and counting so far) that have ALL been distributed to the following already – they go out as fast as they come in:
• HealthReach Community Health Center in Kingfield
• COVID-19 Response Team
• Individual Community Members who reach out to United Way (778-5048)
• RSU 9 Staff who have requested them
• Brookside Village Senior Housing through Foothills Management
• UMF Students and Staff still on campus
And we need more! We have a bin outside the office to drop them off (no-contact) and we arrange to drop them off when they are requested (again, with no contact)…let’s come together as a community and when community members HAVE to be out, serving as a daily caregiver, voluntarily delivering meals to others, etc. we can help folks take that extra measure of precaution.
There are many different patterns (see our Facebook page for a video demo and a handy hack from one of our volunteer mask-makers). And chances are if you like to sew, you have a stash of fabric left over from other projects. What a perfect use for it!
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