‘It can be lifesaving’: Church group makes protective masks for doctors, nurses

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People in isolation in homes around New Jersey have found a useful and noble new hobby -- making protective masks for doctors and nurses at local hospitals.  

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The mask makers are making the most of their free time, and while in self-quarantine, they are meeting via conference call on Zoom. 

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They all know each other through services at The Reformed Church of Highland Park, but due to social distancing, the sanctuary sits empty. This is their new method of congregating.

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The homemade masks may not be the N95 devices that are most wanted, but that's OK. The doctors and health care workers taking them say they will be used to provide double coverage.

"Knowing we can put something else, more protective equipment between us and that surgical mask to preserve, it can be lifesaving,” says Jennifer Sanchez, who is a health care worker.

The batch of masks was handed off to an ER doctor and health care worker at an acute rehab center. They will prolong the use of their N95 masks.

"We are being asked to use one mask per shift for most of our shifts and then we change them out with high risk patients," says Dr. Denise Livingston.

They are so necessary because as there is an increased run on masks and ventilators, there can't be a run on health care workers. 

"We know that the worst is yet to come and that's a little bit hard," says Dr. Livingston.

Along with masks, the church group is also getting asked for surgical caps. Their efforts are certainly appreciated by workers risking their lives every day.

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