Eau Claire (WQOW) - While the COVID-19 pandemic has brought on a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), some local hospitals are accepting the public's help to keep masks in stock.
Marshfield Health Clinic and HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire are taking donations of homemade fabric masks.
Brit Heymans, who takes charge of the donations for Marshfield, said the homemade masks are useful because they can be washed and reused by patients and visitors.
At HSHS Sacred Heart, the masks are used according to CDC guidelines and with the direction of hospital infection prevention experts.
Giving out the homemade masks also helps preserve professional-grade N95 masks, which are more useful for medical staff because they act as a filter, whereas the fabric ones keep germs from getting out in the first place.
"Our health care workers are at the front line working with multiple patients, multiple staff members, so to have the utmost protection for them is critical during this time," Heymans said.
In Eau Claire, masks can be dropped off at the Acoustic Cafe for Marshfield, and any Festival Foods location for HSHS Sacred Heart.
HSHS St. Joseph's Hospital also accepts donations at the Chippewa Falls Family Fare locations.
For more drop-off locations for other Marshfield clinics across the Chippewa Valley, click/tap here.
They'll also accept unopened boxes of gloves, and surgical and N95 masks.
For resources on how to make homemade face masks, click/tap here.