KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Kalamazoo County leaders are asking anyone who knows how to sew to make and donate face masks to the community to prepare for the outbreak.

Officials say the donated face masks would be distributed upon request to community partners that work with high risk, vulnerable populations such as first responders, hospitals, shelters, long-term care facilities and other front-line staff.

While Kalamazoo County doesn’t have a confirmed COVID-19 patient, the number of cases has dramatically spiked in Michigan. 

Throughout the country, health care officials have sounded the alarm of the shortage of medical supplies needed to respond to the pandemic. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers fabric masks an option when other supplies are exhausted.

Here is what you need to know if you plan on making a mask:

  • The pattern is courtesy of Phoebe Putney Health Systems.
  • Both women and men in a variety of roles may wear these masks.
  • Drop off the completed masks from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Kalamazoo County Health and Community Services Department at 311 E. Alcott St., Kalamazoo.  
  • Collected masks will be immediately sent to laundry/processing to be prepared for usage.
  • If there are any surplus masks after the COVID-19 response, those masks will be distributed to other organizations in need.
  • The county will have instructions on its website.

On Sunday, Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids said it was still evaluating its need for community support. It asked anyone willing to donate anything to email covid19supplies@spectrumhealth.org and said it would be in contact based on its changing needs.