(WAND) - With a shortage of medical supplies in Illinois amid the COVID-19 outbreak, some Central Illinois residents are making homemade masks for non-clinical medical staff.
Carle Hospital says it has enough surgical masks and other personal protective equipment for clinical workers, but is accepting homemade masks for non-clinical workers.
"The donated masks are really for non-clinical employees here at Carle," said spokesperson Aaron Seidlitz. "It's those front desk workers, it's our volunteer staff."
These masks don't prevent the spread of COVID-19, but may prevent the spread of other germs.
"It is something that can provide a little bit of comfort and a little bit of assurance for those non-clinical folks that they won't spread some germs," Seidlitz said.
Seidlitz said people can learn how to make the masks from a video posted on YouTube.
"It's about 10 minutes long and it tells people exactly how to make the masks," he said.
The link to the video can be found here.
One Central Illinoisan helping with the effort is Stephanie Adams of Lincoln. Adams told WAND that making more of the do-it-yourself masks means the scarce CDC-approved masks can be saved for frontline workers dealing directly with patients who may have the virus.
Adams started a Facebook group called Mask Makers Illinois for those interested in making the masks, hoping to get 10 or 20 people. The group now has over 2000 members.
"There are hundreds and hundreds of people out there making masks," she said. "They are being distributed to medical facilities all around the area."
Additonally, another group led by Jana Wrigley of Decatur is making mask covers for clinical workers.
"What this does is goes over the mask to protect the N95 mask," Wrigley said. "They have to make one mask last a whole week right now, and so they needed to have covers that would help those last."
Anyone interested in making and donating mask covers can contact Stewart's Sewing Machine's Facebook page.