Cayuga Health seeks volunteers to sew face masks

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Cayuga Health seeks volunteers willing to help with sewing and distributing face masks to area hospitals, similar to what’s happening at local Joann Fabrics stores as well.

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Volunteers are wanted for several positions including sewers with personal machines, along with others to help supply material and pack up completed masks for daily drop offs at both Schuyler Hospital and Cayuga Medical Center.

“The material we are using for the masks is surgical wrapping, the same material we use to make warm blankets for area residents in need, “ said Carol O’Driscoll RN, BSN, BS and Sr. Director Perioperative Services, Cayuga Medical Center. “The surgical wraps are 4-by-4-foot sheets used to heat sterilize surgical instruments. They are durable, waterproof and sterile and they don’t come in contact with patients.”

Production began Tuesday (March 24) and will continue daily Monday through Friday from 8 am – 3 pm until no longer needed. Masks can be sewn at home or at the established sewing site at Cornell University’s Bartels Hall (side basketball court).

Volunteers are asked to sign up in advance so a schedule can be made.

To sign up to volunteer and for more information:

Call: Crystal Barkman (607-274-4331) or Michelle Vallake (607-274-4535);


“We have learned through our surgical blanket project, that our sewing community is vast, and know there will be a critical need to get masks to front line medical staff, not only in our community but to those surrounding us,” stated Martin Stallone, President & CEO of Cayuga Health. “Those who are able can sign up to help make masks that will be used in our OR. Those who are unable to leave their homes can also help by sewing masks at home. The CDC has declared homemade masks acceptable in times of crises. Our team will provide the mask pattern and specifications.”

WXHC will also be speaking with Cayuga Health officials leading this effort, so stay tuned for more information to come.

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