People in the community also are seeking to help with mask making, including a couple of groups making the covers.
“The response has been so fantastic,” said Lacherisa Prairie, value analysis manager with the health system, who is helping in the effort. “It’s just been overwhelming. I go home every night astonished.”
Dr. Supriya Mannepalli, who heads Northeast Georgia Medical Center’s Infection Prevention & Control Committee, said the health system is “focused on finding alternative solutions to our traditional rectangular surgical masks.”
“We have more of a supply of (respirators) than we do surgical masks,” NGHS spokesman Sean Couch said.
Surgical masks aren’t “considered respiratory protection,” but they do provide the wearer “protection against large droplets, splashes or sprays of bodily or other hazardous fluids” and protect “the patient from the wearer’s respiratory emissions,” according to the CDC.
“We would rather any sewn surgical masks be four-ply and made of a denser material. We’re researching patterns and materials to meet our infection prevention standards, and we’ll share that info with the community as soon as we have it,” Mannepalli said.
“We know everyone is eager to help, and we want their help,” she added. “We just want to be sure we’re giving them clear direction so we don’t waste time and material.”
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