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Local companies supply masks, fabric for health care workers

Brandon Moore, left, and Jim Lott, of the Lowe’s store in Marietta, deliver masks to Marietta Memorial Hospital Monday.

When Brandon Moore got into Lowe’s Monday morning, he was greeted with a small set of supplies, now being used to help keep local health care workers safe.

“We’d gotten in a shipment overnight and my night stocking and paint managers brought these masks to me, asking what we should do with them,” said Moore, manager of the Marietta store.

Moore said he’s trying to maintain morale with his staff, all deemed essential workers still expected to report for duty today, after most businesses must remain closed.

Ohio’s stay-at-home order took effect at midnight.

But supply chain businesses like the hardware store must remain open for essential services to continue.

“In the order, it talks about construction services,” said City Law Director Paul Bertram. “The goal of (allowing these services) is for keeping staff necessary for maintaining safety and sanitation. Not to paint and renovate your house, it may be essential to the family but how is that essential to the public at large?”

So the painting masks were instead donated by the Marietta Lowes staff to Marietta Memorial Hospital.

“We just knew that all the hospitals have been short on the product and we’ve been out of stock for the last 30 days,” explained Moore. “On behalf of the store, just to give back to the community. There are 20 packs, and two per pack so it was 40 masks… It was our whole supply that we got in.”

Moore said he talked with the nursing unit in the emergency department at the hospital to coordinate the donation, and recruited Jim Lott, department manager over lumber, to help with the delivery.

“We’re just glad we could do something small to give back to our community,” said Moore. “It was on behalf of the store employees, some have been scared but I told them that everything we do makes a difference in our community.”

Following that lead, those with sewing machines and nimble fingers are also working across the state to sew extra masks.

“I know the CDC put out guidelines on how (those who sew) can help,” said Rich Hayes, Washington County’s emergency management director. “We have put in the local requests not only for our hospitals but also for the nursing homes.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Preventions states that homemade face masks can be used in times of crisis, when standardized personal protective equipment shortages exist.

“In settings where facemasks are not available, (a healthcare provider) might use homemade masks (e.g., bandana, scarf) for care of patients with COVID-19 as a last resort,” said a release dated March 17. “However…caution should be exercised when considering this option. Homemade masks should ideally be used in combination with a face shield that covers the entire front (that extends to the chin or below) and sides of the face.”

JoAnn Fabrics in Marietta confirmed the local store is participating in the effort to allow local people who can sew masks to aid in the last-resort option. The corporation’s website lists both instructions and reasoning behind the movement.

“We are following patterns used in other medical settings and are supplying fabrics and materials that are recommended for these items,” said the website. “We are providing the items made directly to medical professionals, who can make decisions about how best to use them.”

For a tutorial on how to sew the masks visit: https://youtu.be/VgHrnS6n4iA.

For more information on how to contribute visit https://bit.ly/SewMasks.

Janelle Patterson can be reached at jpatterson@mariettatimes.com.

Sewn-at-home masks:

• Find instructions and templates at https://bit.ly/SewMasks.

• JoAnn Fabrics across the nation will be accepting masks during regular store hours.

Source: Times research.

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