Discussions

How are you responding to the public's ask to make homemade masks?

Posted by Randall Post @RandallPost, Mon, Mar 23 2:26pm

We've been asked non-stop about this since Friday afternoon. We're working on a decision. I'll be sure to share this link with leadership. The public really wants to help, there has to be a way to channel this positive energy.

There are many things to consider for sure. Here are two great links that @dahinmon has shared about the masks usefulness and Providence's ask and then pull back (companies are going to manufacture more N95s).
https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/927259#vp_2
https://www.providence.org/lp/100m-masks
How are you responding?

We are using N95 masks first, but are allowing people to make homemade masks in case of shortage. Something is better than nothing. I am also interested in responses regarding messaging around this.

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We've had the same offers and same questions about how to respond. We, too, are using our current supply of masks before using homemade masks, but at the same time trying to not alienate those who want to help. It's heartwarming how people want to jump in and do what they can!

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We are working with our county emergency management to coordinate any and all donations because we don't want people coming to our facilities to drop off items (we have a strict no visitor policy in place). We sent out a media release on this yesterday along with information on people who want to donate money. So when people have asked via social media, we are now directing them to the counties.
Similarly, we don't anticipate using these masks (although we might need to) but people feel the need to do SOMETHING, so we wanted to provide a destination point for their donations.

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I am not sure mask creation without some industry or statewide control is the best way to help, but there may be some orgs coming online with three-d printing- perhaps they will be looking for volunteers or other state level places to volunteer (hotlines, shelter setups etc). Having an active link list on places accepting volunteers may not be a bad thing to have on your CoVid info page.

The bigger issue is how to positively and proactively engage the public.

One thought would be “CoVid contests.” For example, give a 1st, 2nd, 3rd Place prize for the most creative hand washing video, targeting teenagers. Or the top social distancing photo in your region, etc.

Here, not only are you potentially spreading life-saving memes, you may indirectly be expanding your own digital networks, and over the next several months digital network strength and robustness will become increasingly valuable.

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Researchers at Cambridge University tested a wide range of household materials for homemade masks. To measure effectiveness, they shot Bacillus atrophaeus bacteria (0.93-1.25 microns) and Bacteriophage MS virus (0.023 microns in size) at different household materials.
They measured what percentage the materials could capture and compared them to the more common surgical mask. You can read the results here: https://smartairfilters.com/en/blog/best-materials-make-diy-face-mask-virus/

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We've had offers as well from both staff members and members of the community. We are not accepting homemade masks at this time, so I've tried to craft a message that is appreciative of the offer. I've been saying: "Thank you so much for your generous offer. We are not accepting homemade masks at this time, but if that changes, we'll be sure to let you know. We are extremely grateful for the community support."

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@kmfronden

We are working with our county emergency management to coordinate any and all donations because we don't want people coming to our facilities to drop off items (we have a strict no visitor policy in place). We sent out a media release on this yesterday along with information on people who want to donate money. So when people have asked via social media, we are now directing them to the counties.
Similarly, we don't anticipate using these masks (although we might need to) but people feel the need to do SOMETHING, so we wanted to provide a destination point for their donations.

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Hi Kama,
We are working on a similar process with our area Chamber to coordinate donations. Can you send me your release so I can see how you handled the language? schalberg@monument.health

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@erynrealmuto

We've had offers as well from both staff members and members of the community. We are not accepting homemade masks at this time, so I've tried to craft a message that is appreciative of the offer. I've been saying: "Thank you so much for your generous offer. We are not accepting homemade masks at this time, but if that changes, we'll be sure to let you know. We are extremely grateful for the community support."

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This is what we've ended up doing for the time being.

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@kmfronden

We are working with our county emergency management to coordinate any and all donations because we don't want people coming to our facilities to drop off items (we have a strict no visitor policy in place). We sent out a media release on this yesterday along with information on people who want to donate money. So when people have asked via social media, we are now directing them to the counties.
Similarly, we don't anticipate using these masks (although we might need to) but people feel the need to do SOMETHING, so we wanted to provide a destination point for their donations.

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I think this is the best approach. It includes for other health care orgs in your market to be "involved" as well. It also covers more than just masks and caps. Our organizations are only a piece (a large and vital one at that) in the overall command structure for emergency management and it is best to remember that from time to time.

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We are currently accepting donations of medical supplies for our health system and coordinating efforts with our internal development team. The team is arranging pick up and donations at certain locations but everything is being funneled and triaged through them and the COVID command team. The community has also reached out to us regarding home/sewn masks. Even though we are not accepting them at this time, we are collecting their information in case we will need to accept them in the near future.

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One Washington State’s donation center Which is actively being shared on social media: https://www.suppliessaveliveswa.org/

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@MarieEnnisOConnor

Researchers at Cambridge University tested a wide range of household materials for homemade masks. To measure effectiveness, they shot Bacillus atrophaeus bacteria (0.93-1.25 microns) and Bacteriophage MS virus (0.023 microns in size) at different household materials.
They measured what percentage the materials could capture and compared them to the more common surgical mask. You can read the results here: https://smartairfilters.com/en/blog/best-materials-make-diy-face-mask-virus/

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This research is fascinating, @MarieEnnisOConnor. A double-layer dish towel is as effective as an N-95 mask, but because it's difficult to breathe through, pillow cases and 100% cotton t-shirts are best. Thanks for sharing this!

Best-material-for-making-homemade-DIY-masks-out-of-cotton-and-pillowcase-fabric-768x768

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We are not currently accepting masks at our cancer center, which is part of University of Utah Health.

But U of U Health and Intermountain Healthcare are working together on getting a process in place where they can distribute instructions for medical grade masks. This is the messaging that was released today: https://healthcare.utah.edu/publicaffairs/news/2020/03/coronavirus-mask-donations.php

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