Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT SAFTEY MEASURES SHOULD I TAKE
We are glad you asked. Please carefully read the safety requirements before proceeding
WHERE ARE THE MASKS BEING DISTRIBUTED?
Make-A-Mask was started in Austin, Texas by Jennifer Reyes, the Director of Clinical Operations for the Victory Medical Urgent Care and Family Practice clinics. She reached out online with a desperate plea for help in sewing masks for her employees who desperately need Personal Protective Equipment. Through the power of social media and a viral facebook page, thousands across the USA have joined forces to drop off and/or ship sewn masks to the Austin area to help healthcare workers.
I’VE HEARD THAT FABRIC MASKS WON’T WORK OR HARBOR GERMS. HOW WILL THIS HELP MEDICAL STAFF?
Jennifer is a Director of Clinical Operations for family practice and urgent care clinics in the Austin area . She personally struggles with having supplies for her own staff. It is advised that medical staff NEVER wear these as primary masks, except as a last resort. We will share with clinics how to utilize the masks correctly, which is to wear the sewn mask OVER the surgical or N95 mask, like a cover. Then, switch out the sewn mask in between each patient. This will prolong the life of medical masks for a much longer period of time. Then, with the sewn masks, we can soak...launder... and repeat. That’s why we need mass quantities of sewn masks. Lots of patients = Lots of masks. We are working in unexplored territory at this time, and some protection is better than NO protection. These clinics WILL RUN OUT of all standard issued PPE soon.
WHAT IS THE BEST TYPE OF MATERIAL TO MAKE THE MASK OUT OF?
We encourage you to use 100% cotton to make the masks. The medical staff will be wearing 2 masks (as stated above), so we want to make sure it’s still comfortable and breathable. Some #MakeAMaskSewers have gotten creative with cotton, flannel, cloth diapers, T-shirts, pillowcases, etc. Be conscious about any additional “elements” you add to the masks. There are lots of patterns out there. The masks will need to be easily washed. We’ve heard about pipe cleaners being used to mold the bridge of the nose, and while genius, this would make it difficult for laundering over and over.Learn How
I HAVE SEEN LOTS OF DIFFERENT TYPES OF MASKS...HOW DO I KNOW WHICH ONE TO MAKE ... BIGGER or SMALLER?
The bigger sewn masks that you have seen are meant to go over the N95 masks. The smaller sewn masks are meant to go over the surgical masks. To be honest, we need BOTH. Unfortunately, most of the clinics don’t normally stock large quantities of the N95 masks, so when it was time to quick-order some, there were none to be found. Therefore, most clinics are wearing surgical masks at this point. Bigger hospitals, when available, will be wearing more of the N95 masks. The government has made promises that more N95 masks are coming - SOMETIME. Our priority now is to supply the clinics, especially urgent care facilities, as that is where a majority of the walk-in patients will go for screening and testing.
WHAT IF I HAVE FABRIC AND OTHER SUPPLIES BUT I’M NOT ABLE TO SEW?
At this time, because of the HUGE response from the #MakeAMaskSewers we are not accepting materials that have not been completed into masks. You are welcome to post your supplies on the Make-A-Mask facebook page to see if you can network with someone that needs supplies to sew.
WHAT DOES MAKE-A-MASK NEED OUTSIDE OF SEWN MASKS? (check back often)
- We are looking for a company in Austin to do industrial washing of the masks and help coordinate the pick up of dirty masks and the drop off of clean masks.
- We are also looking to tap into the Austin media market. Bloggers, radio, news stations, print etc. If you have any connections within that industry, please contact us through FB messenger or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
I WOULD LIKE TO SHARE YOUR INFORMATION WITH MY FRIENDS, FAMILY, AND OTHER ORGANIZATIONS, HOW DO I DO THAT?
- Notify the media of our efforts: LOCAL AUSTIN MEDIA CONTACTS
- Share the page: Pinned to the top of the Make-A-Mask page is a quick overview of what this group is all about
- Click the share button. From there, invite your friends to like: Click on the INVITE button and send to all your Facebook friends
- Use the hashtag #MakeAMaskSewers and tag yourself anytime you’re referencing Make-A-Mask
Type @Make-A-Mask to create a blue hyperlink that others can click on to get to our page easily.
- Make sure everyone visits the FAQ page by sharing this link: makeamaskaustin.org