Calling all crafters! Allen Fire Department is now accepting donations of homemade face masks to distribute to health care workers and other essential personnel.
The masks will be used by personnel in low-risk environments or if more sophisticated personal protective equipment is no longer available.
"Medical-grade personal protective equipment is becoming extremely hard to find, and should be available primarily to those on the front lines of exposure, such as medical staff or first responders,” said Allen Fire Chief Jonathan Boyd. “However, even simple fabric masks can help reduce the spread of droplets by providing a constant covering when someone talks, coughs or breathes in public.”
Masks donated to Allen Fire Department should follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for sewn cloth face masks, available on the CDC website. These masks are sewn with two fabric rectangles and include elastic or string to secure it to the face. All materials used should be machine washable.
Mask donations will be accepted from 2-4 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays until further notice at the Allen Fire Department mobile office located off Butler Circle, behind Allen City Hall. See map.
Instructions provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
1. Cut out two 10-by-6-inch rectangles of cotton fabric. Use tightly woven cotton, such as quilting fabric or cotton sheets. T-shirt fabric will work in a pinch. Stack the two rectangles; you will sew the mask as if it was a single piece of fabric.
2. Fold over the long sides ¼ inch and hem. Then fold the double layer of fabric over ½ inch along the short sides and stitch down.
3. Run a 6-inch length of 1/8-inch wide elastic through the wider hem on each side of the mask. These will be the ear loops. Use a large needle or a bobby pin to thread it through. Tie the ends tight. (Don’t have elastic? Use hair ties or elastic head bands. If you only have string, you can make the ties longer and tie the mask behind your head.)
4. Gently pull on the elastic so that the knots are tucked inside the hem. Gather the sides of the mask on the elastic and adjust so the mask fits your face. Then securely stitch the elastic in place to keep it from slipping.