In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we supported the Georgia Sewers’ efforts to create and deliver N95 mask covers to frontline health workers in Georgia. We partnered with the Georgia Sewers to raise funds, source supply donations and increase awareness through communications and media. Importantly, UHRU and Georgia Sewers ensured our partner federally qualified health centers state-wide received mask covers--many of whom are in rural areas of the state.
During the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, frontline health workers were running out of N95 masks, a critical form of personal protective equipment that prevents airborne particles from contaminating the face. The mask covers provide a second layer of protection for wearers and are to be worn over the N95 mask to preserve the life of the mask. The covers are designed for one time use but are reusable if sanitized.
By mid-April, Georgia Sewers had received requests from 72 organizations for a total of 9,629 face mask covers. By early June, over 41,000 mask covers were delivered throughout the state.
Susan Cremering, a health care planner who managed external relations for Georgia Sewers, connected sewers and materials to facilities in need of mask covers. Cremering estimates that 225 people volunteered to contribute to the sewing of mask covers. By working out of their homes, many volunteers formed groups, with some collecting, marking and cutting fabric, while others sewed the mask covers. The mask cover pattern primarily used by Georgia Sewers met all approved protection levels and could be donated to hospitals.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we are finding new ways to support our partner health centers state-wide.