Members of the Facebook group, Cariboo Sew Strong, have been busy making masks if needed for health care workers. (Photo submitted)

COVID-19: Cariboo women turn to their sewing machines to protect frontline health care workers

Cariboo Sew Strong

A new Facebook group has been launched by a group of Williams Lake women with the intent to make, gather and eventually donate masks to health care workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic at Cariboo Memorial Hospital.

Cariboo Sew Strong Facebook page shares patterns and advice to make the masks; larger masks to cover N95 masks and smaller, stand alone masks.

“In a perfect world, these masks won’t be used up by the folks of Williams Lake and we can share them with people who need them,” said seamstress Karen Irvine. “They will be used.”

Good quality, 100 per cent cotton is the fabric of choice for making the masks.

Volunteers are picking up all completed handmade masks and dropping them off at two locations in town. After that, any masks that are in the works are best kept with the mask makers until they are needed to reduce handling. Masks are never to be dropped off at the hospital.

Read More: Interior Health issues alert following confirmed COVID-19 case on WestJet flight

For more information, visit the Facebook page, Cariboo Sew Strong.

Williams Lake resident Quinn Passeri and her daughter Sophie have also been a part of the movement to offer any services they can to support health care workers.

They started sewing masks for health care workers even before the Facebook group was started after seeing a local request that homemade masks would eventually be needed.

A shortage of medical supplies and equipment has been an increasing concern and challenge surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, with Health Minister Adrian Dix telling the media Thursday (March 26) that they are waiting for supply orders to arrive.

Dix added the ministry was receiving small sources of (hospital) supplies and are otherwise “conserving and micro-managing our inventory.”

Dix added government officials are looking to every available source to find protective equipment for frontline health care providers “every hour of every day.”

“We want them to know that we’re thinking of them and supporting them every day (with these concerns.)”

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