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Calgary volunteers sew masks for medical community amid COVID-19 pandemic

Demand for face masks continues to rise amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Demand for face masks continues to rise amid the coronavirus outbreak. Getty Images

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues across the globe and more health-care workers are treating those affected by the virus, some professionals have expressed concerns around mask shortages.

One volunteer group in Calgary is hoping to combat those concerns by creating and donating masks to medical workers in the city.

READ MORE: Will homemade masks protect us from the coronavirus?

Mask Makers YYC was formed last week and already has more than 600 members, Patricia Floc’h-Anderson, the organizer of the group said.

“We’re officially one week old as a group, and currently, as of week one, we have about 670 members,” she said during an interview with 770 CHQR.

“We’ve distributed 170 masks so far, and that’s just ramping up, so that number is going to increase exponentially over the next few days.”

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LISTEN: Calgary volunteer group sews masks, donates to medical professionals.

Floc’h-Anderson said the Facebook group was created to bring together residents who wanted to help others during the pandemic. The group sews both masks and scrub caps for the medical community.

The Mask Makers YYC group offer guidelines when sewing masks for medical professionals
The Mask Makers YYC group offer guidelines when sewing masks for medical professionals. Mask Makers YYC

“We’re a very grassroots group that has come together to achieve this in a week so far,” she said

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“We have more than 94 people who have ordered items, and we’ve had over 1,200 items ordered so far.”

READ MORE: Canada to ensure coronavirus masks from China are safe amid reports of defects: Trudeau

The group is volunteer-based and sees members completing an array of different tasks to get the job done.

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“The largest number of people are actually sewing maks,” Floc’h-Anderson said.

“We’ve got people who have volunteered to be drivers and we have people doing drop-off and pickups as well.”

The masks are made from donated materials. Floc’h-Anderson said more of these fabrics are always needed.

“There are forms that we have available if you’re interested in donating materials,” she said.

“Our most common need is for 100 per cent cotton fabric.”

Residents are encouraged to join the Mask Makers YYC Facebook page if they want to get involved in the initiative.