St. Charles Puts Out New Call: 10,000 Community Made Masks | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

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St. Charles Puts Out New Call: 10,000 Community Made Masks

Hospital system aims to get its employees masked, then distribute more masks elsewhere


Since the advent of COVID-19 in Oregon, local people with sewing skills have been mobilizing to create homemade masks that help address the shortage of personal protective equipment for health care workers.

Groups such as the Central Oregon Emergency Mask Makers have formed from the ether in the past couple weeks. Local nurses, dentists, orthodontists and other health care workers have been working on crafting or obtaining PPE as well.

And now, we have a picture of how St. Charles Health System is going to use those hand-sewn and locally made PPE products, and when people inside local hospitals will begin using the things people have made thus far.

  • Nicole Vulcan

On Wednesday afternoon, SCHS announced its "10,000-masks campaign" via press release.

"More than 2,500 homemade masks have already been donated, and the health system is now hoping to get 7,500 more—enough to provide every caregiver with two masks that they can launder and reuse," SCHS' release read. "If St. Charles exceeds its 10,000-mask goal, the excess will be distributed among other groups in the area."

SCHS' release went on to say that it has collaborated with local health care workers and volunteers to settle on a mask pattern that is comfortable and functional. Once people donate masks—which they can do through a number of channels, including St. Charles drop sites as well as collection drives through the C.O. Emergency Mask Makers Facebook group—St. Charles will have masks professionally laundered. 

"Starting Friday, the homemade masks—which are intended to help prevent asymptomatic spread of COVID-19 in public spaces—will be worn by caregivers who may come into contact with individuals who are not suspected of having an infectious disease. The hand-sewn masks are not approved personal protection equipment, or PPE, which must be worn by caregivers who are in contact with a person who is known or suspected to have COVID-19 or any other infectious disease. The initial 2,500 hand-sewn masks were among the many thousands of items donated to the health system during its drive for medical supplies between March 20 and 27," SCMS' release stated.

SCMS asks people not to bring donations to local hospitals, but instead to use donation drop sites that include 3rd. St and Hwy. 97 Albertson’s locations in Bend, St. Charles Family Care in Sisters, Wagner’s Market in Prineville, Logan’s Market in Redmond and Erickson’s Thriftway in Madras.

In addition, the Central Oregon Emergency Mask Makers continue to collect masks at collection sites including:

Bend Veterinary Clinic
360 NE Quimby Ave, Bend

Martolli's Pizza
220 W Cascade Ave., Sisters

Redmond Police Department
777 SW Deschutes Ave, Redmond

Crook County Fire & Rescue
500 NE Belknap St., Prineville

276 NE 10th Street, Madras

La Pine
Wickiup Animal Hospital 52407 Skidgel Rd

Drop off before 5pm

See the other Masking Together stories:
  • Source

Make Masks Cool: Bend nurses dole out PPE to coworkers, after an angel donation fell in their laps

Masking Together: Central Oregonians mobilize to make more PPE—with safety in mind, of course

See all our coronavirus coverage at our Coronavirus HQ.

About The Author

Nicole Vulcan

Nicole Vulcan has been editor of the Source since 2016. While the pandemic reduced "hobbies" to "aspirations," you can mostly find her raising chickens, walking dogs, riding all the bikes and attempting to turn a high desert scrap of land into a permaculture oasis. (Progress: slow.)

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