Fresno community creates homemade masks for those on the frontlines

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FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – As more patients test positive for COVID-19 across the country, the concern over supply shortage in hospitals grows. Locally, people are trying to help out by making face masks from their very own homes.

At Authorized Vac & Sew in Fresno, people lined up to get kits to then take home and make face masks.

“We do have fabrics and we have all the resources to put kits together so that people can pick them up and sew them in their own home and bring them back to us,” said Veronica Hitter, owner of Authorized Vac & Sew.

Each kit makes up to 12 masks. When people are done, they take them back so that they can then be donated.

“We ask that they get them back to us as soon as possible so that we can sanitize them and then get them off to our medical facilities that are in need,” Hitter said.

The CDC does suggest homemade face masks as a last resort. On its website, it says health care personnel may use them ideally in combination with a face shield that covers the front and sides of the face.

Roxanne Benton is a Fresno resident who is making them from her own home.

“I just felt really called and the urge to start sewing because I know they take a little bit of time and I just wanted to have them ready,” Benton said.

She takes precautions by using gloves and sanitizing her items beforehand.

Benton said she has friends and neighbors who are nurses or know health care workers who have asked for them.

She said she’ll keep making and donating them while she has supplies.

Authorized Vac & Sew will be giving kits out all week from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

“If you look at the community, if you look at all the cars and the people, this tells you what Fresno is all about,” Hitter said.

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