OUR COVID-19 RESPONSE
Protecting lives one stitch at a time
ABOUT OUR EFFORTS
Why is Stitched Together encouraging our sewers to sew face masks?
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Stitched Together would like to momentarily pivot our focus from sewing teddy bears to helping with the shortage of face masks for the medical community serving on the front lines. While many people are working towards a more steady supply of commercially produced face masks, Stitched Together would like to help sew face masks for those who do not have access to any other face mask option. We understand our face masks are not CDC compliant, but we hope to empower our sewers to protect lives one stitch at a time.
What does the CDC say about homemade face masks?
"In settings where facemasks are not available, HCP might use homemade masks (e.g., bandana, scarf) for care of patients with COVID-19 as a last resort. However, homemade masks are not considered PPE, since their capability to protect HCP is unknown. Caution should be exercised when considering this option. Homemade masks should ideally be used in combination with a face shield that covers the entire front (that extends to the chin or below) and sides of the face." (CDC website)
Additional research has also said the following:
"Homemade mask should only be considered as a last resort to prevent droplet transmission from infected individuals, but it would be better than no protection" (Source - Research Paper)
Why did Stitched Together use this specific design for our face masks?
When the masks arrive at our partner hospitals, many of our partners wash our donated face masks in high heat washing machines to sterilize the masks before distribution. To withstand this high heat and be as effective as possible to minimize the spread of COVID-19, Stitched Together is using 100% cotton fabric. Researchers at Cambridge University conducted a study to see the most effective material to block bacteria and found 100% cotton was 74% effective, compared to surgical masks that showed at 94% effectiveness (source). Additionally, we decided to model our face masks after commercially produced surgical masks and use ties instead of elastic so each person who wears our mask can customize the fit to their preference. We understand our mask design is not CDC compliant, but we hope each mask can help protect a life in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Why has Stitched Together decided to use mail as our way of transit for masks?
Due to the rapidly changing CDC guidelines about gathering in groups, Stitched Together has decided to encourage our sewers to help make a difference with COVID-19 from the comfort of their homes. We hope to empower children, families, new sewers, experienced sewers, and anyone who is looking to help to make a difference in the COVID-19 pandemic by sewing a face mask.
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