Sanford Health of Northern MN doesn’t need homemade masks

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.


Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers events and issues in north central Minnesota, which include local government, crime, courts, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University and received her degree in 2018. Larissa is also an active member with the Bemidji Jaycees, a leadership development through community service organization for adults 18 to 40. Larissa, native to the great state of New York, grew up in Bemidji, and enjoys spending her spare time with her growing family and pet cat. She also loves Star Trek, punk rock music and the theater.


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