Local hospitals say ‘no’ to handmade protective masks

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — While residents are helping out hospitals and donating handmade protective equipment, the hospitals themselves say the DIY protective supplies don’t properly insulate them from COVID-19.

All over social media – and even through some craft stores – patterns are being distributed, showing people how to make personal protective equipment.

In Rockford, SwedishAmerican says it is unable to accept handmade masks.

Mercyhealth says they’ll take the DIY masks, but a representative for the hospital said they would only be used if there is a spike in coronavirus cases.

Shawn Homb, an Infection Prevention Specialist for Swedes, said that, while the hospital staff appreciates the thought, the homemade masks might not actually help.

“There’s no evidence by the CDC (that they work),” Homb said. “We follow the CDC’s guidelines and right now there’s no evidence supporting that homemade masks actually help our healthcare providers.”

Donations to Mercyhealth can be dropped off in the main lobbies of both Rockford campuses from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

OSF HealthCare welcomes donations of some of the medical equipment that is in short supply because of the COVID-19 pandemic. That includes non-homemade items such as N95 respirators, surgical masks, face shields, gowns and gloves and ventilators – as well as anything else that might help. If you know of a business or organization that has something to donate, they can email SupportOSF@osfhealthcare.org or call (309) 624-5840. More information about future donations to come.

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