ElderCircle has partnered with Itasca County Public Health, Grand Rapids Fire Department, individual volunteers and community-based mask-making groups like “Mask Mania 2020” to provide free fabric masks to individual community members during the COVID-19 pandemic.
While Governor Tim Walz recently extended the stay at home order until May 18, he also lightened some restrictions to begin the process of recovery. In addition to continuing the six-foot rule of social distancing and frequently washing hands, Minnesotans are now urged to wear a fabric mask whenever in public. Fabric masks don’t replace medical-grade personal protective equipment, but should the mask wearer unknowingly be a carrier, a fabric mask can help prevent the spread of the virus. The fabric masks can be washed and reused.
In just a few short weeks, the community-based volunteer group “Mask Mania 2020” has distributed thousands of fabric masks to long-term care, assisted living and medical facilities. Distribution to individual community members is now available through ElderCircle. “ElderCircle is committed to finding ways to respond to community needs as they arise, and distributing fabric masks is another way we can serve our community during this unprecedented and rapidly-changing crisis,” said ElderCircle Executive Director Renee Bymark. “We are diligent in finding solutions and providing supports for our community members.”
Individuals in need are invited to contact ElderCircle to order their mask(s) by phone or email. Non-contact exchange takes place at ElderCircle’s office on the Itasca County Family YMCA campus. While the masks are free, donations are appreciated to help offset the cost of materials. The masks vary in size, design and fabric pattern, but best efforts are put forth to provide gender-appropriate colors.
Volunteers who are sewing masks may drop them off in a bin located at ElderCircle office at the Itasca County Family YMCA, 400 River Road, Grand Rapids. Donations of 100% cotton fabric and ¼” elastic are also appreciated.
To obtain fabric masks, contact ElderCircle at 218-999-9233 x277 or email@example.com. Staff is working from home, and are addressing voice mails and emails daily.
Mask Mania 2020 can be found on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Mask-Mania-2020-103003201360611/