If you can sew, Peterborough Regional Health Centre needs you to make face masks

Hospital issues challenge to create 1,000 handmade masks a week for patients, visitors, and the community

Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC) needs 1,000 masks every week, and the hospital is calling on the community to help. (Graphic: PRHC)
Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC) needs 1,000 masks every week, and the hospital is calling on the community to help. (Graphic: PRHC)

If you know how to sew and have little to do because of the COVID-19 lockdown, here’s an opportunity to put your skills and time to great use.

In the ongoing battle against the COVID-19 pandemic, Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC) needs 1,000 masks every week, and the hospital is calling on the community to help.

“We are grateful for the generous donations of personal protective equipment (PPE) we have received for our healthcare workers,” the hospital states in a media release. “However, there continues to be a worldwide shortage of PPE.”

PRHC is asking for people in the community who know how to sew to make non-medical masks for the use of patients and visitors to the hospital.

The handmade masks will not be used by the hospital’s healthcare workers, who will continue to use certified masks. Instead, they will be given to patients who still need to visit the hospital for necessary care can’t always keep their distance from healthcare workers, approved visitors to the hospital, discharged patients returning to the community, and others in the community to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Most importantly, the availability of handmade masks means the hospital can preserve its certified masks for the use of healthcare providers and support staff.

The hospital is promoting a simple two-ply pleated mask design. Along with standard sewing supplies, you will need dark-coloured polyester fabric for the outside of the mask (or 100 per cent cotton if polyester is not available), light-coloured 100 per cent cotton for the part of the mask that goes against the skin, and elastic or fabric ties.  Instructions are available. (Supplied photo)
The hospital is promoting a simple two-ply pleated mask design. Along with standard sewing supplies, you will need dark-coloured polyester fabric for the outside of the mask (or 100 per cent cotton if polyester is not available), light-coloured 100 per cent cotton for the part of the mask that goes against the skin, and elastic or fabric ties. Instructions are available. (Supplied photo)

The hospital is promoting a simple two-ply pleated mask design. Along with standard sewing supplies, you will need dark-coloured polyester fabric for the outside of the mask (or 100 per cent cotton if polyester is not available), light-coloured 100 per cent cotton for the part of the mask that goes against the skin, and elastic or fabric ties.

Clean fabric should be used, although PRHC will also wash all masks before distributing them.

Instructions are available online for how to make a face mask with elastic ties and how to make a face mask with fabric ties.

PRHC is accepting mask donations seven days a week from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the hospital’s main entrance at 1 Hospital Drive in Peterborough. Enter through the main entrance and a screener will accept the donation. The hospital is requesting masks be placed into a plastic bag with your contact information (name, address, email address, and phone number).

Before you drop them off, the hospital encourages you to share your mask creations social media, tagging the hospital @PRHC1 and using the hashtags #InThisTogether #PRHCstrong #PTBO1000MaskChallenge.

If you have any question about mask donations, you can contact Bonnie Mackey at bmackey@prhc.on.ca or 705-743-2121 ext. 3325.

If you can’t sew but still want to help the hospital’s efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic, you can make a donation to the PRHC Foundation in support of critical investments in lifesaving equipment and technology and supports for patients and front-line healthcare workers. Donors can also send a special thank you message to PRHC’s doctors, nurses, and staff.

To donate or share your message, visit www.prhcfoundation.ca or call 705-876-5000.