Sanford Health of Northern Minnesota issued a release today in response to numerous state and national media outlets covering stories on community members sewing masks for hospital workers, using the guidelines developed by the Centers for Disease Control.
As of right now, Sanford Health has enough medically issued personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect staff and patients.
“We are immensely touched and thankful for the recent outpouring of support from community members and their willingness to help, but also do not want them to waste their time, talents and money on items that we hope never need to be used by our staff or patients,” said Susan Jarvis, President and CEO of Sanford Health of Northern Minnesota.
“We are conserving supplies, including masks, gowns and other protective equipment in preparation for the spread of COVID-19 but, as of right now, feel confident in the medically issued items we are providing staff,” said Jarvis.
“We will absolutely keep the community informed should we have a need for homemade masks in the future.”
Homemade masks are not considered PPE, sine their capability to protect health care professionals is unknown, according to the CDC.
“Caution should be exercised when considering this option. Homemade masks should ideally be used in combination with a face shield that covers the entire front (that extends to the chin or below) and sides of the face,” says the CDC guidelines on homemade masks.