Texoma women making medical face masks amid COVID-19 outbreak
Two Van Alstyne women are stepping up to help stop the spread of COVID-19 by making masks for front-line workers, and the elderly.
Heather Betancourt and Jessica Harbaugh said hearing about shortages of medical masks nationwide, inspired them to make some of their own.
So they got out their sewing machines and got to work.
"If I can take some time out of my day to protect five EMS workers, police officers, health care workers, it was my time well spent," Betancourt said.
Betancourt and Harbaugh say so far, they've made about sixty masks, and they don't plan to stop anytime soon in hopes of making things a little bit easier.
"Take the fear out of living day to day life during an epidemic," Betancourt said.
"I feel like it's a calling though because God gave me a gift to be able to sew so I try to use that to help anybody in need," Harbaugh said.
They said they already have masks going out to a local retirement community, and health care workers at Wilson N Jones and Texoma Medical Center.
They're also working with Van Alstyne police and fire to figure out what they need.
"To give them a peace of mind, take maybe a little uncertainty out of their day, something that they don't necessarily have to worry about, or at least reduce the risk of worrying," Betancourt said.
Betancourt and Harbuagh said they offer elastic masks and masks that tie.
According to the CDC, an N-95 filtering face piece respirator is the most effective in removing particles from the air.
But if that is not available, the World Heath Organization advises people to wear masks like these if they're around someone suspected to have COVID-19, or if you're coughing and sneezing.
They said masks are only effective when they cover your entire nose and mouth, and are used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning.