On Saturday afternoon, Randolph Ave. in St. Paul was the only “busy” place in the state, as dozens of people drove up to the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA) building to drop off donated face masks.
The MNA says right now some nurses are having to use un-safe measures to cover their faces in the hospital.
“We’re at a point where nurses are being told if they have to, they should just use a bandana or a t-shirt to cover their face,” Carrie Mortrud, with the MNA.
Mortrud says they’re specifically looking to collect N95 face masks, which are CDC approved.
This mask drop off is happening at every day from noon to 2 p.m. until Sunday March 29 at 345 Randolph Avenue, #200 St. Paul, MN 55102.
On Friday, Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity donated 7,500 N95 masks to Hennepin Healthcare and M Health Fairview.
“We had all these extra masks that we’re available, they were very high quality masks, we use them during our construction process,” said Chris Coleman, Habitat’s President and CEO.
Coleman says these masks were originally donated to them, so they wanted to pay it forward.
“We also need to be generous to the community that serves us so well,” Coleman said.
Hospital masks don’t always have to be quite this high quality to still be safe and functional. Allina Health and Blue Cross Blue Shield Minnesota have teamed up to create an online blog and kits with all the materials you need, to instruct volunteers on how to create a fabric mask at home that CDC compliant and reusable.
“Anybody who knows how to sew, who has basic sewing skills, can use 100% cotton fabric that they already have at home in their stash,” said Susan Schuster, with Blue Cross Blue Shield Minnesota.
If you don’t have the materials to sew at home, Treadle Yard Goods in St. Paul assembled 50 fabric kits for volunteers to pick up. They are open on Sunday for pickups.
“The kits that we’re putting together, you can make about 25 masks with only like 4 yards of fabric,” Schuster said.
If you are a Minnesota health systems that would like to receive handmade masks or a local fabric store that would like to supply fabric to volunteers, contact Susan Schuster at email@example.com to be added to the list.
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