Scott County volunteers sew masks for doctors facing supply shortages

Posted at 6:19 PM, Mar 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-23 04:54:30-04

GEORGETOWN, Ky. (LEX 18) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises healthcare professionals to use homemade masks, like bandanas and scarves, to treat COVID-19 patients if they run out of facemasks.

Patty Gibian said the shortages reached Georgetown Pediatrics, prompting a friend married to a doctor there to ask if she would help sew masks so they could use those. She directed them to Shannon Burns, owner of Birdsong Quilting and Crafts.

"That one practice needed 250 masks for one day," Burns noted. "So that's assuming that each nurse or doctor in that practice then takes home their 10 masks, washes them and brings them back the next day, which is pretty overwhelming."

Burns agreed to donate materials and help direct volunteers to resources so they could make the masks at home. She estimates she's donated more than 60 yards of fabric. However, there are other volunteers who have bought the fabrics to make the masks directly from Burns.

Gibian said within a day, she'd completed 17 masks from her at-home sewing station and dropped them off at the pediatrician's office.

"I have lots of fabric and I'm retired teacher. I have lots of time, so I can take the time to serve," she said.

The masks are made with fleece and cotton fabrics. Burns and Gibian refer those interested to this website for patterns and videos on how to make the masks.

“My experience has been most people involved in the arts have really big hearts," said Gibian. "So anytime that there's some way they can help comfort is a good thing. It's just what the arts are about.”

Burns told LEX 18 that Georgetown Fire Department reached out to Birdsong Quilting and Crafts, also asking for fabric donations so they could put volunteers to work. Donations can be dropped off at either Birdsong Quilting and Crafts or at the Georgetown Fire Department for distribution.