WVU Medicine is actively preparing for a surge of COVID-19 patients – and community members are reaching out to help.
WVU Medicine, also known as the WVU Health System, includes J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital and WVU Medicine Children’s in Morgantown; Berkeley Medical Center in Martinsburg; Braxton County Memorial Hospital in Gassaway; Camden Clark Medical Center in Parkersburg; Jackson General Hospital in Ripley; Jefferson Medical Center in Ranson; Potomac Valley Hospital in Keyser; Reynolds Memorial Hospital in Glen Dale; St. Joseph’s Hospital in Buckhannon; Summersville Regional Medical Center in Summersville; and United Hospital Center in Bridgeport.
While WVU Medicine currently has an adequate supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) on hand to protect its employees and patients from COVID-19, the global supply for this equipment continues to be uncertain, and the organization is actively taking steps to secure more supplies.
Several West Virginia civic organizations and community members have offered to make face masks to assist WVU Medicine in its preparedness efforts.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not suggest cloth material as a first-line defense against COVID-19; however, cloth masks work well for other conditions and can help conserve reserves of N-95 respirator masks and medical-grade surgical masks. They also provide a crisis response option when other supplies are exhausted.
Here are some guidelines from the West Virginia Association of Local Health Departments to assist those making hand-sewn face masks: