GREENE COUNTY, Ohio (WDTN) — Greene County Public Health (GCPH) is asking residents of the county for donations of hand-sewn masks to help with supplying schools when students and staff return for the fall.
GCPH officials said they will serve as a clearinghouse to ensure that students and teachers have what they need.
“It’s important that you keep at it so that somebody can’t say, ‘Well, I couldn’t find one,'” said Katie Rose Wright, who helps run a group of roughly two dozen people in the Yellow Springs area making masks for community members.
Since March, the group YS Face Mask Makers has sewn roughly 5,000 masks and is ramping up efforts to help families as the school year approaches, Wright said.
“We don’t want low-income kids and families like that not to be able to have multiple for their kids,” Wright said.
Greene County Public Health asked Wright’s group for help in its efforts to distribute cloth face coverings across the area.
“We’ve also gotten requests from local county agencies that work with, for instance, the homeless population or a syringe exchange program,” said Kirsten Bean, health education program manager for Greene County Public Health. “People there are high-risk and may need masks and not be able to afford them themselves.”
According to Bean, Greene County is seeing a spike in coronavirus cases, and the region is seeing a rise in hospitalizations.
Though Yellow Springs is the only Greene County jurisdiction with a mask requirement, Bean encourages everyone to wear a mask in public.
“We’re really seeing that work in Yellow Springs,” Bean said. “The case numbers are very low compared to other jurisdictions in the county. So we can’t say for sure why that is, but it does seem to indicate to us that widespread mask usage really does keep cases down.”
Greene County Public Health is organizing more pop-up testing sites over the coming weeks, Bean said.
If you would like to help the YS Face Mask Makers, contact their Facebook page.
Public Health has provided instructions for both “sew” and “no-sew” masks for those interested in making some.
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