Face masks

Nikki Halverson models one of the face masks she made and will be distributed through Spooner Cares.

At least a couple of groups have formed locally to craft face masks for the hospitals and clinics.

Some throughout the country are facing shortages due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the homemade masks can help until manufacturers boost production.

Sharon Monahan, co-president of the Council of Catholic Women and Men (CCWM) of the tri-parish in Solon Springs, Gordon, and Minong, initiated one of the project of making cloth face masks for the clinics in the area as they work with potential COVID-19 cases.

Contacts for sewers were made to other churches in the area as well as clubs to be involved in this project. Currently six sewers are involved in this group, which are from different churches and communities ranging from Gordon, Chicog, Minong, Webb Lake, and Frederic.  

“We invite any sewer to join in with our project and help the health care workers,” said Milly Thissen, who is helping corral more elastic for the masks.

The group reached out to the NorthLakes Clinic in Minong and the Spooner Health complexes to identify their interest in receiving the cloth face masks, and NorthLakes responded of their need.

The cloth face masks will be going to the clinic.

The sewers have enough fabric; however, they are short on supplies of three sizes of flat elastic – 1/4, 1/8, 3/8-inch flat elastic.

“Out of stock and May shipment is what they found when they ordered the flat elastic online, so we are reaching out to the public to check your sewing boxes and see if you have any of these three sizes of flat elastic – color is not an issue,” Thissen said.

Anyone who has elastic or who would like to join the sewers is asked to contact Thissen, m.thissen55437@comcast.net or 612.670.8541 9call/text ) to make connections.

“This group greatly appreciates the help of the public in providing the cloth face masks for the health care workers to place over the N95 so they are able to stay safe and yet are able to change out the cloth masks after each patient interaction,” Thissen said. “The cloth masks will be treated like surgical scrubs in that they will be laundered and then put back to use.”

Spooner Cares

A second group is Spooner Cares, which formed on Facebook and has so far made 200 face masks.

The group started with local medical facilities and may expand to other communities if the need is there.

More information on their work is on page 10A.

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