Salt Lake City, UT -- (ReleaseWire) -- 04/29/2020 --Intermountain Healthcare is making it easier for people to donate homemade cloth face coverings to help stop the spread of COVID-19 throughout the community.
The donated coverings will be used by visitors and non-frontline caregivers at hospitals and clinics throughout Utah. This will not only keep people safe, but also help conserve medical-grade masks and personal protective equipment (PPE).
For weeks, many Utahns have been sewing cloth face covers but had few places to donate them. With additional planning, Intermountain implemented a way to collect them using 28 bins set up throughout the state. After a donation the face coverings will be collected, properly sanitized, and shipped to where they're most needed.
"One thing we love about living in Utah is people just want to help in any way they can. To see how many people have been sewing these face covers is just astonishing," said John Wright, vice president of Supply Chain at Intermountain Healthcare. "By having these available to visitors and certain caregivers, we can ensure we're saving our medical-grade personal protective equipment for frontline caregivers."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated guidelines asking everyone to wear a mask while out in public, even if it's a cloth covering. The CDC says a cloth covering along with social distancing and good hand hygiene can help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
These drop-off donations are different from ProjectProtect, a grassroots partnership between Intermountain Healthcare, University of Utah Health, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to produce medical grade masks which can be used by frontline caregivers.
The ProjectProtect initiative has a limited number of spots, but anyone can help sew cloth face coverings for donation at drop off sites.
The coverings will be taken from the drop off bins to central laundry where they will be cleaned and sanitized for use. They will then be sent to hospitals and clinics throughout Utah for distribution to visitors and caregivers.
To learn more about how to sew a mask or where people can drop off donations click here.
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About Intermountain Healthcare
Intermountain Healthcare is a not-for-profit system of 24 hospitals, 215 clinics, a Medical Group with 2,500 employed physicians and advanced practice clinicians, a health insurance company called SelectHealth, and other health services in Idaho, Utah, and Nevada. Intermountain is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare by using evidence-based best practices to consistently deliver high-quality outcomes and sustainable costs. For more information, see intermountainhealthcare.org or the Intermountain Healthcare Blog.