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One stitch at a time: homemade face masks surge amid new CDC recommendations

homemade face mask

BYRON, Minn. (FOX47) -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's new recommendation for the general public to wear face coverings has prompted a surge in local residents making reusable face masks.

Audrey Smith of Byron is a nanny for a Mayo Clinical physician. Because of health concerns and social distancing, Smith is unable to work.

The physician she works for brought up the idea of sewing face masks for visitors and non-medical staff at Mayo. Even though Audrey hasn't sewn since high school, she dusted off her sewing machine and got busy. She found instructions for making the masks online.

"Last Friday, I was contacted by an oncology doctor through my niece and he requested masks for his patients so I made 40 of them and sent those to him Monday," Smith said. "I want to help and this helps me stay busy."

Smith has made more than 150 masks since last week. She said materials are difficult to get in stores right now and recommends buying them online. She does not charge for the masks.

"I've had to use hockey skate shoe laces for some of them, elastics are hard to come by right now," said Smith.

A Facebook post made on the Employees of Mayo Clinic page is requesting washable, reusable face masks for non-medical staff and visitors and patients.

The donations can be dropped off from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. on weekdays at the following locations:

Gonda East entrance (drive-up)
Mayo Family Clinic Southeast (drive-up).
Francis Staff Cafeteria

✳️ COVID-19 UPDATE ✳️To help provide face masks to staff, patients and visitors, Mayo Clinic in Rochester now will...

Posted by Employees at Mayo Clinic on Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Megan Zemple

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