DIY Masks in Canada

9 Million Masks Needed Per Week in Canada, Says Leading Nurse

Due to the extreme demand in healthcare facilities, it’s up to the people to make their own DIY masks in Canada. In a recent interview with Global News, Doris Grinspun, the Chief Executive officer of the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario, has confirmed that several of her members have contracted COVID-19 due to a lack of personal protection equipment (PPE). She also calculated the demand for masks in Canada, based on her observation of France’s consumption:

“We need nine million per week… nine million a week! So the feds need to move first of all, and they aren’t moving, nor is the province.”

Her estimates should be taken seriously. For over 20 years, Grinspun has led programs in Latin and Central America, China, Australia, and Europe and published and spoken extensively. Grinspun is a forceful advocate of Canada’s universal health system and the contribution of registered nurses and nurse practitioners.

Fortunately, in response to the crisis, Prime Minister Trudeau has heard the dire warning and advised that thousands of Canadian companies are re-tooling their production lines to manufacture much-needed ventilators. They will also manufacture personal protection equipment (PPE) for critical, front line workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

DIY Fabric Face Masks Can Help

While this is a positive step, if you want to leave the house safely, you should also wear a mask. There are no “N95” filtering masks available online, so people are making DIY masks in Canada, both for themselves and for donation.

“We want to see all east-enders wearing a fabric mask when they need to be within six feet of other people, especially vulnerable populations and the elderly,” wrote Dr. Jeff Powis, medical director of infection prevention & control at Michael Garron Hospital, in an article for Global News.

See our “top articles” list for a terrific selection of DIY mask videos, both for the fitted “duckbill” and the flat “pleated” style. They are easy to make! All you need for masks for viruses is some scrap fabric (sheets, or woven shirts), and it’s best if you include some sewing interfacing. One shortcut to sewing a mask is to order this well-rated Balaclava Ski Face mask, and simply hand-sew in a few layers of fabric on the inside mouth and nose area for more protection. The fabric of a balaclava alone will not protect you, but a layer of interfacing as shown in the ad below, will go a long way.

If you have time to make more masks than your family needs, see the bottom of this page for places to donate DIY Masks in Canada to medical facilities.

Web Info Life gets commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Completed face masks can be dropped off in the Coxwell lobby of Michael Garron Hospital at 825 Coxwell Ave., Toronto, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday to Friday.

Hospitals Accepting Donations of DIY Masks in Canada

Brantford General
Grand River Hospital
Halton Healthcare
Humber River Hospital
Joseph Brant Hospital
Lakeridge Health
Markham Stouffville
North Bay Regional Health Centre Foundation
North York General Hospital
Ontario Shores (Whitby)
Peterborough
Ross Memorial Hospital
Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre
Scarborough Health Network
SouthLake Regional Health Centre
Sunnybrook Hospital
Stevenson Memorial Hospital
St. Joseph’s
St. Mary’s
Trillium Health Partners Mississauga
William Osler

Some good news: there are signs the curve is flattening. See Canada’s COVID-19 live update status: COVID-19 Situational Awareness Dashboard by ARCGIS. To hold the line on that defense, all Canadians should wear masks and/or face shields, and continue to stay home as much as possible. Most importantly, keep your hands and home clean! See our page packed with tips on places in your home and office you might not realize are germy.

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