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Providence asks public for help making millions of masks for Washington hospitals

The bid to ramp up production of protective masks ramps up worldwide. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

As Western Washington’s hospitals gear up for the growing need for medical supplies and safety equipment, Providence is looking to volunteers to help provide its hospitals with millions of medical masks for workers on the front line of the coronavirus outbreak.

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It’s called “The 100 Million Mask Challenge,” calling on volunteers with sewing machines at home for help.

“Since materials are precious and large quantities are required to make a difference, we’re seeking volunteers willing to make at least 100 masks,” Providence’s website reads.

For anyone looking to participate, you just need to provide your first and last name, email address, physical address, and zip code at this link.

Last Friday, 200,000 surgical masks were delivered to the Washington Department of Health by the federal government, with the state waiting for approval on an order of over 154,000 additional masks.

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Even with that, though, there are still concerns that Washington’s hospitals will soon be flooded as its coronavirus outbreak continues to escalate. In a letter asking President Trump to send a Navy hospital ship to Washington, Gov. Inslee noted that he “anticipate(s) our hospitals will be in crisis by the end of this month.”

That’s part of what Providence hopes to mitigate by calling on the public to pitch in to produce more surgical masks.

“We’re calling on you! Anyone with a willing heart and the ability to sew can help us protect our caregivers by sewing masks they can wear on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19,” said Providence.

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