(3-24-20) Due to the national shortage of personal protective equipment and in preparation for a potential surge of patients, Mercer Health is welcoming donations of unopened personal protective equipment and fabric masks made by members of our community.

Orders for standard disposable masks are on long back orders across the nation due to both increased demand and supply chain issues. Hospitals across the country are reporting the same supply concerns and are also making additions to their disaster plan. Donated fabric masks will ensure masks are readily available in the event that our current supply is diminished.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fabric masks are a crisis response option when other supplies have been exhausted. All collected masks will be immediately sent to laundry/processing to be prepared for use. Surplus masks will be distributed to other local organizations in need.

Instructions options, shown below, (courtesy of a group production at Phoebe Putney Health) should be followed to ensure the masks can be used by hospital staff:

Other considerations include:

  • Use 100% cotton tightly woven fabric.
  • Non-smoking homes only, please.
  • Please remember that both men and women will be using these masks.
  • Cloth ties may be used instead of elastic.
  • Water repellent fabric is NOT required.
  • Please do not make masks if you are ill.

Donation collection will take place on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from noon – 4:00 p.m. at Mercer Health West Campus (830 West Main Street, Coldwater), located west of Mercer County Community Hospital. Please drop all donated items in the collection bins located just inside the main front doors on the left-hand side. We kindly ask that you do not enter the building at this time. If you are unable to leave your home to drop off donated items or have other questions or concerns, please email kperts@mercer-health.com.

If you would like to help sew the masks but do not have fabric or elastic at home, we have you covered. Bags including  fabric, elastic and the pattern and sewing instructions are available to anyone in the community who would like to help  sew. There are two ways to get a bag of supplies:

  1. Pick up a bag at Mercer Health West Campus (830 West Main Street, Coldwater), located west of Mercer County Community Hospital. (At the same location where completed donated masks can be dropped off.)
  2. Call Karen Perts at 419-733-4069 and she will make arrangements with you to drop off a bag of supplies to your home. The supplies will be left outside of the door to avoid contact. Call Karen when the masks are done and she will pick them up.

We encourage you to share photos on social media of yourself making fabric masks to build community spirit. Please tag Mercer Health and use #ThisIsMyHospital or send us the photos in a private message or via email to myhealth@mercer-health.com.