West Cobb volunteers make masks, plus Cobb County appeals for masks for poll workers

coronavirus under electron microscope in article Kemp extends state of emergencyCoronavirus under electron microscope (image by Felipe Esquivel Reed, licensed under CC-SA 4.0)

Cobb County highlighted a group of volunteers in West Cobb who have been creating masks to help with the shortage due to COVID-19.

The news release posted on the county website describes the origin of the group:

Tami Gallagher started sewing masks on March 19, following a conversation with her best friend, a surgical nurse at Children’s of Atlanta. Tami’s friend shared with her the growing shortage of PPE equipment, especially masks. Tami posted on Facebook and asked local friends and national colleagues to join in to help donate fabric, wash, dry, cut, sew and distribute masks. Over the past several weeks, Mask Makers 2020 West Cobb have already used 450 yards of fabric which came from Tami, who is a costume maker, while waiting on delivery of an additional $2,000 in fabric and supplies which was purchased with donated funds.

Jane Swanson then joined in and began handling logistics for the group, including recruiting, scheduling, and ensuring donated supplies. She also asked Lorelle LoCurto to create a group Facebook page that allowed volunteers to organize their efforts by neighborhoods. The page is now administered by Erin Gibson.

Mask Makers West Cobb now has over 583 volunteers, all assembled in less than 30 days.

According to the county’s news release:

They work mainly in neighborhood “hubs” with runners doing porch pickups in their neighborhoods, bring all pickups to either Jane or Tami and gathering new supplies to start the process over again. They then count the masks, sort, separate and pack in the evenings and notify recipients of their availability the next day. They have two pickup points and have no contact pickups on porch and driveway which strictly follow the protocols given by Atlanta area hospitals for all the masks donated. Tami and Jane also started a “Gimme $5” campaign to raise additional funds for fabric and supplies.

The Cobb County government posted a second appeal on its website for donations of masks for poll workers:

Cobb Elections staff is hard at work and there is a great need to provide all of our wonderful election workers with masks. The Cobb County Elections Office needs a total of 1,400 before the June 9 election to help protect poll workers. Starting Monday, May 4, the elections office, located at 736 Whitlock Ave., Marietta, will have a donation bin at its entrance from noon to 1 p.m., Monday-Friday.  Please put the donated masks in a plastic bag and place them in the bin.

Below is guidance on how to make masks:

Surgeon General: Here’s how you can make a cloth mask in a few easy steps.

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