In the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak, individuals and organizations are joining forces to help those fighting on the front lines of the epidemic – healthcare workers. Indianapolis partners Megan Fernandez, Crimson Tate, People for Urban Progress, Alicia Garceau, Emily Gartner, Indiana Fashion Foundation, Christina Jobe, PATTERN and others are working together to create masks for healthcare providers during a national shortage, joining the Million Mask Challenge.
With the rise of COVID-19 infections, personal protective equipment, or PPE, have been running low in supply. These PPE, particularly the N59 face mask, are vital to keeping healthcare providers safe from being infected by the virus, as the masks cover the nose and mouth and filter the air the wearer breathes in. These masks that are meant to be worn once for safety and hygiene purposes are being reused multiple times, as low supply offers no other options for those directly interacting with sick patients.
This PPE shortage has prompted the Million Mask Challenge, a movement started by a Washington-state hospital in which people who know how to sew are encouraged to help fight the shortage by making protective gear for healthcare workers at their homes. Once the sewn equipment is completed, it will be donated to hospitals and their staff. The Indy-based effort will join this national movement, donating to local hospitals in need of protective masks. The masks will act as a last resort, as homemade masks do not protect workers from COVID-19 in the way that N95 masks do.
Interested volunteers are encouraged to get involved by filling out this survey Local hospitals, health clinics and nursing homes who are interested in receiving masks for their staff, should email firstname.lastname@example.org.