[Editor: Who knew!? The County’s Facebook page has in some ways more and better information than the County’s website! In this newsletter and Dr. Christine Woo’s video, there are updates on masks, long-term care facilities, testing, etc. Recommended! – R.S.]Facebook: Solano County Public Health, April 16, 2020
As of April 16, 2020, Solano County has 156 cases of which 9 are currently hospitalized, 2 deaths, and 2,169 residents tested for COVID-19. In our hospitals, ICU beds, ventilators, and PPE are in adequate supply.
In this video, Dep. Health Officer Dr. Wu explains the situation in Solano County, Public Health’s response, and the importance of using facial coverings. Sr. Health Education Specialist Jose Caballero joins in to demonstrate how to make DIY cloth masks.
Over the last two weeks, a group of Benicians has been sewing and delivering masks for healthcare workers who serve on the front line fighting the coronavirus pandemic here in the Bay Area.
In an email today, Bodil Fox reported, “To date, we have distributed 1,234 masks date from 37 mask makers to 22 medical facilities.”
Those numbers are supplemented by some who are delivering masks directly to healthcare workers who are family or friends.
On April 1, Larnie Fox wrote that the group had 50+ members on the mask project email list. One of the group’s biggest contributors is Ruby Wallis, who has been sewing large quantities of masks.
The mask project is nicely described in an April 1 Benicia Herald article by editor Galen Kusic…
Benicia residents spearhead effort to make masks for health care workers
Nurses at Kaiser Vallejo wear masks provided by the mask making project spearheaded by Benicia residents Bodil and Larnie Fox. 460 masks have been distributed by 25 mask makers as of March 31.
Galen Kusic, Editor
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to engulf the world, U.S. and Calif., people are getting creative to protect health care workers and flatten the curve. As of press time Tue., there were at least 183,532 cases across 50 states and more than 3,600 deaths attributed to the respiratory illness. In Calif. alone, the state announced 6,932 cases with 150 deaths.
Locally in Benicia, Bodil and her husband Larnie Fox have displayed ingenuity through artistic creativity and networking by making hand-sewn masks to help health care workers.
The project started when Bodil met her neighbor, Marcella Spurgeon, a nurse at Kaiser Vallejo, on a walk on March 20. Marcella told her how she and other nurses were working without any sort of protection. Bodil (a textile artist) wondered if hand-sewn masks would help, and Marcella’s response was an enthusiastic, “YES!”
Alta Bates doctors show off their functional and stylish masks.
Bodil started sewing masks, and soon heard that her friend Ruby Wallis was “making masks, full tilt.” Ruby had designed a simple, easily-made mask that was big enough to cover an N95, thus extending its life. Bodil and Larnie made a video explaining Ruby’s technique: youtu.be/Uyh6iAKqrao, which has over 2,000 views on Facebook and Youtube.
The emails, texts, social media posts and phone calls exploded after Councilmember Steve Young posted information about the project on Facebook. Seeing that Bodil was swamped, Larnie began helping her with the project full time.
“We are fielding requests for hundreds of masks at this point,” said Larnie.
Alta Bates midwife Lior Mayer wears a hand-sewn mask made by Bodil and Larnie Fox’s mask maker group.
As of March 31, there have been 460 hand-sewn masks made with 25 mask makers working. They are being distributed to Benicia nurses working at Kaiser Vallejo, Oakland Children’s Hospital, Alta Bates Berkeley, Kaiser San Rafael and to several other health care centers.
“I have brought in masks for Labor and Delivery and the nurses and docs are so appreciative!” said Alta Bates midwife Lior Mayer. “It is so heartwarming, and very useful. Everyone loves knowing they are extending the lives of the ONE mask we are given per shift, and also appearing more friendly to our patients with these beautiful fabric masks on. Everyone sends a big thank you!”
The masks are washed and sterilized before using. The mask makers are very aware of the fact that these masks do not replace real PPE (personal protective equipment), but as nurses are saying, they are better than nothing.
“We are going the unofficial route – getting them to nurses that work at these facilities who distribute them to their co-workers,” said Larnie. “They report that the people who get them are really grateful, and our homemade masks are most definitely being used and may be saving lives.”
Nurses at Alta Bates use hand-sewn masks to help with the current N-95 mask shortages.
The project is seeking donations of 100 percent cotton fabric, at least 11×16 inches, 1/4 inch elastic, rubbing alcohol for sterilizing masks and supplies and people who have sewing machines and can sew. They encourage any frontline workers who need masks to let the project know. If you live nearby and would like to help by sewing, donating materials or identifying needs, please contact the project at email@example.com.
For those that do not have this capability, people are urged to find somehow or someway to help health care workers or those in need during the crisis.
“The need is real,” said Larnie. “We know these masks are not ideal, but they are much better than the nothing that is currently available.”
A KEY ARGUMENT FOR USING HOMEMADE MASKS: Homemade masks are partly effective in individual protection, but they are essential for slowing the spread of the virus in the population. The main outcome of our studies was that they stop around 95-100% of viruses that people emitting by your breath, sneezing, and coughing. People are the most contagious first days without symptoms, that’s why we need masks for all.
We have successfully tested the hypothesis at two main technical universities and it is highly recommended by a team of experts COVID CZECH under the coordination of the president of Czech Technical University in Prague. The team consists of a virologist, epidemiologist, doctors with specialization in population protection, chemists, and physicist with specialization if filtration. This group is an advisory expert group for the Czech government in Prague. Now it is obligatory to wear masks in the whole country.
Please share and help to spread the key message that can save lives and slow the pandemic. #Masks4All: “I protect you, you protect me.”
— Scientific Studies
– “We conclude that population-wide use of face masks could make an important contribution in delaying an influenza pandemic. Mask use also reduces the reproduction number, possibly even to levels sufficient for containing an influenza outbreak.” Brienen, Nicole CJ, et al. “The effect of mask use on the spread of influenza during a pandemic.” Risk Analysis: An International Journal 30.8 (2010): 1210-1218.”
– “Any type of general mask use is likely to decrease viral exposure and infection risk on a population level, in spite of imperfect fit and imperfect adherence, personal respirators providing most protection.” – van der Sande, M., Teunis, P., & Sabel, R. (2008). Professional and home-made face masks reduce exposure to respiratory infections among the general population. PLoS One, 3(7).
– Effectiveness of masks compared to respirators: Davies, A., Thompson, K. A., Giri, K., Kafatos, G., Walker, J., & Bennett, A. (2013). Testing the efficacy of homemade masks: would they protect in an influenza pandemic?. Disaster medicine and public health preparedness, 7(4), 413-418. PDF: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/…
– “However, during a severe pandemic when use of face masks might be greater, pandemic transmission in households could be reduced.” MacIntyre, C. R., Cauchemez, S., Dwyer, D. E., Seale, H., Cheung, P., Browne, G., … & Ferguson, N. (2009). Face mask use and control of respiratory virus transmission in households. Emerging infectious diseases, 15(2), 233. – https://www.researchgate.net/figure/F…
— Credits (everyone was working for free on this project):
– Authors: Petr Ludwig, Aneta Kernova
– The main actress: Aneta Kernova
ANETA KERNOVA is an actress and director from the Czech Republic. Her first American debut was a leading role in the well-known Wilma Theater in Philadelphia. There she played a Czech Refugee in ADAPT! Aneta is a singer, traveler, dancer, photographer and artistic director of VEKK production – an independent, international company dealing with art… [Source: IMDb » ]
– Animations: www.motionhouse.cz
– Camera: Lubomír Krupka
– Sound and postproduction: BeLoud Studios (Bojan Bojic)
– The venue: WeWork Prague
– English subtitles by www.easytalk.cz
– License: Creative Commons Attribution license (reuse allowed)