Project Protect Prepares For Second Wave Of Face Mask Volunteers
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Officials said the five-week effort called Project Protect will begin its second wave of face mask creation and volunteer efforts.
The project developed out of the need for medical-grade face masks in Utah hospitals and clinics.
Intermountain Healthcare, the University of Utah and Latter-day Saint Charities has partnered to call on volunteers to create millions of masks.
The call went out for at-home sewers to make medical-grade masks under specific guidelines from Latter-Day Saint Charities.
Volunteers flooded the drive-through pickup areas to get supply kits. Officials said there was still a need for more.
First counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and president of Latter-day Saints Charities, Sister Sharon Eubank spoke with KSL about the effort.
“We are in the second week of a five-week volunteer project. One thing we know, Utahns are eager to help,” said Sister Eubank.
She said the goal was to create 5 million masks over those five weeks.
“The way that our community has responded has been unbelievable. It has made me just really feel the goodness of human beings. It has been a great opportunity,” she said.
The two hospital systems use 50,000 medical masks every day, she said.
“The need is unbelievable and there are terrible shortages right now. Five million masks will really help these hospital systems and all of the small systems they support throughout the state,” said Sister Eubank.
If there are extra, they will donate to other states in the region and the United States, wherever the need is the greatest.
The effort began April 21 and runs through May 23. Those who want to participate must register Thursday for a specific location and specific time next Tuesday to pick up a kit of 100 masks.
Registration can be completed at projectprotect.health.
Completed masks should be returned to the same location the following Saturday.
“If you can sew a single straight line, that’s all you need,” said Sister Eubank.
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How Do I Prevent It?
The CDC has some simple recommendations, most of which are the same for preventing other respiratory illnesses or the flu:
- Avoid close contact with people who may be sick
- Avoid touching your face
- Stay home when you are sick
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Always wash your hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
How To Get Help
If you’re worried you may have COVID-19, you can contact the Utah Coronavirus Information Line at 1-800-456-7707 to speak to trained healthcare professionals. You can also use telehealth services through your healthcare providers.
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