BLOUNT COUNTY, Tenn. — The Blount Memorial Foundation has put out a couple of suggestions for helping Blount Memorial physicians and staff in the fight against COVID-19 while staying safe in your own home.
Here’s how you can help:
1. Making Cloth Masks
Guidelines for Homemade Masks:
Material – 100 percent cotton, double-sewn with stabilizer; also needs a metal piece at the bridge of the nose measuring roughly 4 inches; no restrictions on colors, patterns, etc. of cotton fabric
Size – Measures about 8 inches wide and 4 inches tall, with straps being 16-18 inches at each of the four corners (straps preferred over elastic loops for comfort/durability)
Crafters across East Tennessee are working to sew these masks together.
Suzy Trotta started the Facebook group "Knox Makes Masks," where more than 300 people have made hundreds of masks ready to donate.
"We immediately started getting requests from mostly from UT hospice, a lot of different hospice places, a lot of oncology centers," said Trotta.
There's a mask shortage right now for medical professionals everywhere.
"We are not trying to recreate an N95 mask in any way. This is not a CDC product," said Trotta. "All we're trying to do, this is a hold over."
She said individual nurses, as well as some food service staffs are reaching out wanting the masks to keep themselves and people they work with protected.
"I hope that we are providing some help and some relief for people on the frontline," said Trotta.
JOANN Fabrics is donating kits with supplies to make 10 masks. You can pick one up at your local store.
On Sunday, the JOANN on N. Peters Road in West Knoxville gave out enough supplies to make 750 masks.
They said if you want to use their sewing machines, they have a room set up in the back of the store.
There are several sewing patterns and instructions available online for different masks. Two options can be found here and here.
You can drop completed masks off at any JOANN store, or join "Knox Makes Masks" on Facebook for more locations.
2. Donating Supplies
Blount Memorial also is asking local businesses and individuals if they have extra supplies, that they consider donating them to the hospital.
Items Most Needed:
- Masks of any kind
- Sani-Wipes (wipes used to clean down surfaces often found in schools, daycares and gyms)
To donate or for more information, contact: Blount Memorial Foundation 865-977-5727 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Messages also can be sent through the Foundation Facebook page.
Right now, Blount Memorial is the only area hospital asking for these masks to be donated.
East Tennessee Children's Hospital said right now social distancing is the best thing people can do to help them out.