As the number of coronavirus cases in Vermont continue to rise, the availability of hospital equipment continues to dwindle. In an effort to help buffer the shortage of masks, some small businesses across the state and even people at home, have began to make their own. One local hospital has began to accept donations from people who are making homemade masks.
Just recently, the Rutland Regional Medical Center has started accepting donations of these homemade masks. “We’re asking that the masks be made of one hundred percent unused cotton fabric, or a cotton flannel fabric”, says Traci Moore, Director of the Rutland Health Foundation,
But other health organizations say homemade masks are not as effective in protecting against COVID-19 because they can’t keep out all particles, so even though these masks are better than nothing, they can only be used in certain areas of the hospitals.
Moore says, “The fabric masks are not considered PPE’s. But the fabric masks are a level of protection that is very helpful in non-clinical areas”.
This allows for the personal protective equipment, or PPE’s to be saved for medical professionals who are working in clinical areas. I was told, the main purpose for the fabric masks are primarily for those who are checking people in, and aren’t really dealing with any highly contagious people.
Peg Bolgioni, Communications Specialist for Rutland Regional Medical Center says that they “are just eternally grateful for everyone in the community who has stepped up to support us during these challenging times. And Rutland is a community with a big heart, and they have always been there to support whatever crisis we have had to face.”
For more information about how you can get involved in either making masks, or how to donate, you can click here.