KXAN Austin

‘Make-A-Mask’ providing much-needed mask covers to Austin medical workers

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A local healthcare worker took it upon herself to address the personal protective equipment shortage crisis due to COVID-19.

Jennifer Reyes works for Victory Medical, and once she saw the office had only 50 surgical masks and four N95 masks for all 170 workers there, she went to Facebook.

Reyes created a Facebook page called “Make-A-Mask,” and it rallied people in the community — and around the country — to help make hand-sewn, homemade mask covers to help prolong the life of their medical-grade masks.

Since the page’s launch, Reyes has received nearly 7,000 masks.

“We lean heavily on the sewn masks that are coming in from all over the United States to prolong the life of our medical masks at this point,” Reyes said. “Within the Austin area, it’s kind of who you kow at this point and what connections you have and you’re calling in for any favors that you may have needed.”

The masks have been distributed to more than 90 medical offices across the Austin area.