Hospital workers battling the coronavirus in Washington State have been making face masks out of office supplies — as stashes of the vital protective equipment are just “days away” from depletion, according to a report.
Infectious disease experts at Providence St. Joseph Health designed face-shield prototypes out of marine-grade vinyl, industrial tape, foam and elastic, Bloomberg reported.
Administrative staff bought the supplies needed to make the face-shields at craft stores and Home Depot Monday, the outlet reported. Volunteers then started an assembly line to manufacture them on Tuesday.
“We are very close to being out of face shields. Masks, we’re probably a couple of days away,” said Becca Bartles, executive director of infection prevention at Providence St. Joseph Health.
She said clear vinyl sheets particularly come in handy.
The health care organization, which operates 51 hospitals, plans to buy more of the necessary raw materials from wholesale suppliers and resume assembly later this week if it can’t get more finished products, the outlet reported.
The World Health Organization said Tuesday it is considering new “airborne precautions” for medical professionals after a new study suggested that the coronavirus can survive in the air for hours.
Vice President Mike Pence also urged construction companies Tuesday to donate respiratory masks to hospitals and health centers.
Washington has been hit hard by the deadly COVID-19 virus, with more than 1,000 cases and 55 dead, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
The state was also devastated by a large cluster of cases at the Life Care Center nursing home in Kirkland, where heartbreaking photos show the effects of quarantine separations on relationships.