Collection depot set up for homemade face masks


    By Lisa Gervais

    SIRCH, in collaboration with Haliburton Highlands Health Services, will be serving as a collection depot for homemade fabric face masks.

    HHHS said it currently has sufficient quantities of medical masks but recognizes that fabric masks could be a response option when other supplies have been exhausted. 

    They said fabric masks can also be used in the community, for non-medical individuals who want to be safe when needing to be out and about.

    People shouldn’t consider wearing a homemade face mask as a substitute for regularly washing their hands and other preventative measures, such as physical distancing and not touching their face. But masks may help reduce droplet transmissions in closer quarters with people.

    “HHHS has first dibs, of course, on any masks received by SIRCH,” said Gena Robertson, executive director of SIRCH. “But we hope we receive many thousands so they are available to give to cashiers, delivery people, tenants in social housing, people in food services, anyone caring for someone with Covid-19.”

    • Community members sew masks to specifications. Go to the sirch website for instructions.
    • They drop clean masks in the bin outside SIRCH Central (2 Victoria St. in Haliburton) (or SIRCH will find someone to pick them up)
    • Masks will be re-cleaned and sanitized by HHHS, then returned to SIRCH
    • SIRCH volunteers will bag the masks individually, using protective gear to avoid contamination
    • Bags will have a label with instructions for wearing and washing
    • Masks will be distributed to businesses, organizations and residents who request them.

    Masks need to meet the following specifications:

    • Double fabric, pleated mask design, ideally with dark polyester (or 100 per cent cotton) outside, and 100 per cent lighter-coloured cotton inside. It is requested that cotton fabric is pre-washed (to allow for any shrinkage).
    • Elastic ear loops or cloth ties
    • Go to the sirch website for instructions.

    It’s important they be moisture-resistant, washable and washed regularly. That’s why most do-it-your-selfers are using cotton T-shirts or cotton sheets.

    Drop your clean masks in the bin outside SIRCH Central, 2 Victoria St., Haliburton any week day between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., and on weekends between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.


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