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Home sewers busy producing masks

People with sewing skills are working at home to produce cloth masks that the federal government is now recommending everyone wear to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

The disease can be spread by people who aren’t showing symptoms, so the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending that everyone – especially people who are in areas with a lot of community spread – wear face masks in addition to maintaining social distance of at least six feet and avoid gatherings of people.

What the CDC does not want people using are the N95 masks needed by hospitals that are in short supply.

Linda Harvey is a member of the Mission Sewing Group at St. Mary of the Lake Catholic Church.

She started making masks from her own stash of elastic and fabric.

When she ran out of elastic and had trouble finding it in stores, she asked other members of the group. They left some at the church for her and she was able to make 56 masks for care center workers, healthcare workers, and members of the community.

Pam Klenke said she made 25 masks before she ran out of elastic. She said she plans to make more once her shipment of more elastic arrives.

So far she’s given masks to the care center, chiropractor Nate Schulz, and her mother, she said.

She’s keeping an eye on Facebook to see who needs the masks she makes.

Harvey said she’s seen people get creative in the absence of elastic, “using hair binders and even stripping bungee cords down to the elastic to make masks.”

Klenke and Harvey both say they are glad to contribute.

“I am happy to use my sewing talents to help members fo the community to stay safe during these difficult times,” Harvey said.

“I figured I’m not a healthcare worker or anything so this is my way to try to help people,” Klenke said.



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