Volunteers Sew Protective Masks For Lane County Healthcare Workers

Mar 26, 2020

A shortage of Personal Protective Equipment or PPE in hospitals and clinics has led to community-based, mask-making projects.

Some of the homemade cloth masks dropped off at 222 East 11th Avenue, Eugene for use by health care workers throughout Lane County.
Credit Kendra Northam Facebook

Lynda Pond is a Registered Nurse in Eugene and currently serves as President of Oregon Nurses Association. When she heard that some hospitals were mandating their employees re-use masks up to five times, it moved her to action.

Lynda Pond is a nurse and a quilter. Here she models one of the homemade cloth masks she made to protect healthcare provider colleagues.
Credit Lynda Pond, RN

Pond and several other Sacred Heart nurses started a Facebook page called Lane County PPE to share ideas about how to sew safe cloth masks. Quilting fabric is recommended, although high quality bedsheets may be used if you really want to crank out a lot.

Pond says each mask pattern leaves the bottom seam open so a filter can be inserted.

Filters, fabric and ties for mask making.
Credit Lynda Pond, RN

“We’re using HEPA grade vacuum cleaner bags which filter out 99% of all particles. The feeling is that just a regular cloth mask without any filtration is maybe 50% effective. The N-95’s that everyone talks about that filter out pretty much everything in the hospital setting are the gold standard. And it’s been discovered that if you put this HEPA filter in, you get as close to a N-95 as you’re gonna get from a homemade mask.”

HEPA vacuum bag filters and cutting tools for making protective masks.
Credit Lynda Pond, RN

Pond’s group is collaborating with The Seamsters (think Teamsters) and the University of Oregon Sustainability Project has mask patterns on their website.

TO FIND WAYS TO HELP AND GET THE MASK PATTERN WITH SEAM SLIT FOR HEPA FILTER ADDITION, click here:

http://sustainability.uoregon.edu/

For more information about the Seamsters mask making efforts: 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/facemasksforhealthcare/?ref=share

Completed masks are dropped off in secure drop box at US Rep. Peter DeFazio's office in downtown Eugene.
Credit Kendra Northam

Hundreds of masks have already been made by volunteers and Pond says there is no sign of stopping. Completed masks should washed and placed in clean plastic bags. They can be safely dropped off in a drop box at Representative Peter DeFazio’s campaign office in downtown Eugene, (222 E. 11th Ave, Eugene OR 97401) day or night.