WDT assembling masks to help community during COVID-19 pandemic
RAPID CITY, S.D. — People are finding themselves short on necessary protective supplies such as hand sanitizer and masks, but Western Dakota Tech and the West River Area Health Education Center are helping fill a vital need.
Employees are working with Monument Health to create health-approved face masks for the community. Kits have been created for distribution to local sewers, and include three yards of fabric, thread, and a mask pattern. Stephanie Mayfield, the director of the West River Area Health Education Center said,
“With the Vucurevich foundation, they gave us some wonderful funding to go and purchase 3,000 yards of fabric. To create a thousand kits that we can distribute free of charge. We’ll distribute them Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 9 a.m. until noon here on the campus of WDT.”
The first distribution of kits is expected to yield 20,000 masks. Fabric is received from local stores such as The Sewing Center, then laundered, assembled for kits, returned and laundered again before being given out locally. WDT has applications online for people wanting to receive kits, and masks. Local agencies will be prioritized, and then given to local individuals. The project is accepting volunteers to assemble kits, and to keep conditions as safe as possible, have set up a P.P.E. (Personal Protective Equipment) station and practice social distancing.