All sewn up: Community group wraps up fabric mask project supporting KHSC patients

News / General

Patients coming to Kingston Health Sciences Centre for outpatient care now have access to brightly-colourful fabric masks thanks to the generosity of community members who stitched up 4150 face masks over the last two months. While not considered official personal protective equipment for health care staff, the home-sewn fabric masks can be used by patients coming to KHSC for dialysis, chemotherapy and other outpatient care.

Pleased at surpassing its original target of 3,000 masks, the KGH Sewing Group has now wrapped up its mask project. Launched in March, the Facebook group was 600 members strong and included sewers plus many others who provided logistical support around laundering, packaging, delivery and more.  Special kudos go the Frontenac Coin Laundry for washing masks and acting as a central drop-off/pick-up point for masks, fabric and other supplies

“The intent of the masks is to provide a nice, comfy option for patients coming into the hospital for an outpatient visit and to prevent droplet spread,” says Meghan Engbretson, a KHSC Infection Control Practitioner and co-organizer of the sewing group.  “Our IPAC team made sure instructions about appropriate use were included with every individually-packaged mask.”

To date, 2100 fabric masks have been distributed across a number of KHSC programs including dialysis, oncology, Neonatal Intensive Care and Ininew Patient Services, and also made available to the Kingston Self-isolation Centre.

“We thank everyone who contributed their skill, time and energy to this project,” says Engbretson.  “It was a wonderful gesture of community solidarity that we know patients and staff alike really appreciate at this time.”