Deaconess Health System in Indiana is asking the public to make fabric face masks for health professionals.
The COVID-19 pandemic has moved federal health officials this month to liberalize their recommendations about which face protection front line health-care workers should use to ward off the highly contagious disease stemming from coronavirus.
“Prior to modern disposable masks, washable fabric masks were standard use for hospitals,” said Dawn Rogers, MSN, RN, FNP-C, Patient Safety & Infection Prevention Office in a release to media. “We will be able to sterilize these masks and use them repeatedly as needed. While it’s less than ideal, we want to do our best to protect our staff and patients during this pandemic.”
I don't know if other hospitals are accepting donations of homemade face masks from individuals. I recommend that you ask before you make a bunch of them.
You will need cotton fabric. (Is there anyone reading this who does not have cotton fabric?) 9" X 6" for each adult mask, cotton flannel for the backing, elastic (rope elastic, beading cord elastic or 1/8" flat elastic) and thread. That's it! There is a child-size mask if you need to use them for children at home.
You can find the instructions here. The instructions include a video. It doesn't say to wash the fabric first, but I recommend it. There may be some chemicals and dyes still in the fabric that might cause a reaction in a person sensitive to them, and they will need to be washed and reused.
This information and the photo came from this article in the Courier & Press.
ETA: There is now a Facebook group to match up masks with medical personnel. You can find it here. They have patterns, advice, etc.