St. Lawrence County crafters 'in full force production' of face masks to help with shortage
Tuesday, March 24, 2020 - 1:03 pm

Crafters in St. Lawrence County are in full force production of face masks to help with the shortage due to COVID-19.

A story from USA Today cites FDA and CDC sources that the homemade masks won't provide a lot of protection against COVID-19, or serve as a replacement for surgical masks, but that has not stopped people from making them.

JoAnn Fabric in Ogdensburg and Malone are offering free kits to make non-surgical face masks. The bags each contain pre-cut fabric, elastic band and instructions. But the stores have limited quantities left, because they have been inundated with customers coming to get the kits.

“Everyone in the community is coming together to help. The output in the community is amazing,” said Jo-Ann Fabric store manager, Diane LaRue, of Ogdensburg.

She said the store will bring the kit out to your car. When finished, drop the masks off at the store and they will take them to the hospital.

Many stores have sold out of elastic, so crafters have come up with alternatives. Joanna Penny-Tessier, Norfolk, has begun using hair bands in place of elastic.

“People in the community have been reaching out to me because they are in need of a face mask,” she said. “Any way that I can help, even if it’s a small notion.”