Make a mask: Here’s how you can support medical professionals from home


In this photo taken on Thursday, March 19, 2020, Sien Lagae, works on a mouth mask, meant to help protect from the spread of COVID-19, on her sewing machine at home in Torhout, Belgium. Lagae runs a social media group of volunteers who are making mouth masks for family and friends as well as hospital and caregivers in Belgium due to a shortage in supply of industrially made masks. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.(Sien Lagae via AP)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The world is rallying to help medical professionals on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic — even from their homes while social distancing.

Small, community-based initiatives and massive companies across the country are sharing “how-to” videos and tutorials with step-by-step processes for creating cotton, non-surgical medical masks.

As doctors and nurses in Central Texas, and around the U.S., face a shortage in N95 medical masks, communities are trying to help in any way possible. These do-it-yourself masks made from home would not replace the heavy-duty surgical masks, but it would help prolong the use of the N95 masks in the form of a mask cover.

An Austin-based Facebook group, Make A Mask, is planning to ship thousands of homemade masks to any clinic or hospitals that request shipments. The Facebook group creator says their goal is for medical providers to wear the sewn masks over their surgical/N95 masks.

JOANN stores are offering the lessons to help you support medical professionals.

The nationwide store posted a “how-to” video on its website for making homemade medical masks using cotton or flannel.

The company says the masks can be dropped off at any of their store locations and they will be donated to hospitals and health care facilities. The website also has links to other medical masks resources like picture tutorials and the sewing pattern necessary to create masks.

The company said on its website that it “noticed groups of people in the crafting and sewing communities making protective masks, gowns and other essential items and donating them to hospitals and health care facilities and we wanted to help them do even more.”

You can watch the “how-to” video below:

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