CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) --
During the coronavirus outbreak, people are trying to help out in many ways. One Cheyenne woman is making masks. She's not the only one in the community giving back in this way, but she said also asked for more help. Jamie Wittmann said, "Any seamstresses out there, I've had people reach out to me from the VA. I've had people reach out to me. As well as individuals needing masks. so I mean, any and all effort helps."
Wittmann said she has made at least forty-five masks so far. "I got some fabric donations from an RN at the oncology department at the hospital. I had noticed that they were posting that they were asking for help with masks and I knew I could do that. So, I started doing that and basically all of Saturday, I spent time cutting out patterns and I spent Sunday sowing," Wittmann said.
Her plan was to drop off some masks on Tuesday and continue working on making more today. "I'm making as many as I possibly can right now. I have a little bit of downtime...so I know what I'm going to spend that time doing," said Wittmann.
Wittman said she's heard from doctors that these masks are a sort of last resort. The Centers for Disease Control lists strategies for "optimizing the supply of facemasks." There are several different plans for a low supply of facemasks. One option is to reuse surgical masks during the coronavirus outbreak.
The CDC does include homemade options on the CDC webpage, like bandanas and scarfs, but only if masks aren't available. Homemade masks are not considered personal protective equipment (PPE). The CDC said it's unknown how capable the homemade masks are at protecting healthcare personnel. The CDC said if homemade masks need to be used, they should be used with a face shield that covers the entire front and sides of the face.
This story was updated on March 26, 2020. We removed Peak Wellness Center from the quote in the article.