Atlantic — The Incident Command team at Cass County Health System has been flooded with questions and offers from local residents about sewing masks to help protect the caregivers coming into contact with patients who may have COVID-19.
“We have been overwhelmed with the response from our community wanting to do anything they can to help us,” said CCHS Chief Nursing Officer Amanda Bireline. “We are incredibly grateful for the outpouring of support and the generosity of our neighbors.”
CCHS is currently monitoring the inventory of personal protective equipment (PPE), which would include things like gloves, masks, N95 respirators, face shields, and gowns.
“At this time, CCHS is well stocked and well prepared, and everyone is being very mindful of the PPE that they are using now,” said CCHS Materials Management Director Derick Hogberg. “We continue ordering supplies from multiple sources so that we keep ahead of the need. Meanwhile, we have to be smart and start making contingency plans – what if we have a surge of cases? Or what if we can’t order any more of these things? We’re being creative and doing everything we can to prepare.”
Just like other healthcare professionals around the country, we are developing creative processes to prepare for the weeks and months ahead. One way that many volunteers have offered to help is by sewing masks. While these cloth masks aren’t comparable to the protection provided by an N95 respirator or maybe even a regular surgical mask, they may be helpful if shortages occur in the future.
There are two styles of masks that are needed. One is the standard rectangular shape, and the other is a more triangular mask that is shaped to cover N95 respirators. Instructions for both styles can be found at casshealth.org/covid-19. If you need the instructions emailed or mailed to you, call CCHS Foundation Director Dawn Marnin 712-243-7409. Finished masks can be dropped off in a designated tote Monday-Friday from 8 to 4:30 outside of the CCHS loading dock.