Ventura County’s Mask & Gown Brigades update and related news!

7 mins read

Taking our medical professionals’ lives for granted…

Some of Ventura County’s amazing health care workers took time out last Friday to remind us what’s at stake here. None of the hundreds of protesters raging about “Freedom!” could replace any one of those four doctors on the median in a medical emergency. Across America, over 9,200 health care workers have tested positive for coronavirus and at least 27 have died. Health-care providers are literally risking their lives to save ours. What if they just stopped showing up?

Although the Health Care Foundation for Ventura County has organized an incredible volunteer task force, including the Mask and Gown Brigades, and those who provide meals, temporary shelter and equipment, every one of us has a role in stopping COVID-19 and protecting our medical professionals – simply by following the social distancing and shelter-in-place orders from our county and state public health experts. For the impatient, “Stage 2” of reopening CA businesses starts this coming Friday. Worldwide COVID stats here.

A “thank you” to volunteers,  and how you can join in…

  • Do you want to help make gowns? Go here.
  • Do you want to make masks for Ventura County’s essential workers? Go here.
  • Volunteer opportunities and equipment needed in Ventura County: here.

(Information below from Amy Towner, CEO – Health Care Foundation for Ventura County from 4/23)Good evening Brigaders!

Thank you all for your continued support with sewing masks and assembling gowns.  We have had over 350 masks turned in the last few days and about 40 gowns.  Both masks and gowns are still very much needed.  (Below we’ve included the Cumulative donations to date since we started March 20th.)  We are still collecting cell phone chargers so please let your friends and neighbors know if they are cleaning out a drawer or closet to check for cell phone chargers that they are not using and donate if possible.

Friday morning I attended the Incident Command Meeting and Dr. Fankhauser warned us all, while Ventura County has flattened the curve well, COVID has only plateaued, it has not decreased, so we can’t let our guard down. Friday afternoon, protestors took to the streets by the Government Center to protest the shutdown, many of whom were not wearing masks or distancing. Our county’s doctors showed up too, to express the importance of staying the course, despite being tired of self-quarantining.

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I asked if they wanted the Brigades to continue and they all repeated yes again.  They also reiterated how much they appreciate the support.  Masks are now mainly going to people who enter any county hospital, clinic or program that do not have or are not wearing a mask. As you know, county serves a large population of the most vulnerable population who would not otherwise have access to the basic needs.  We are still trying to source authentic PPE masks, gowns and other protective equipment and there has been little or none across the nation still today Saturday we had a big jump in cases. Let’s keep social distancing, self quarantining as best as possible, sewing, making gowns, wearing our masks in public and being extra kind to each other.  This has been hard on many.  We miss seeing each other.  Know that when we get into service, it allows us to be together in spirit for a deed greater than ourselves to protect our community.  Thank you for your service and for those of you that missed it, here is the link of some of our team thanking you for the difference you are making.

Thank you again, Amy.

Cumulative donations as of tonight.

Cumulative Donations as of 5/2/20 8:33 pm
Surgical Masks6,643
ISO Gowns1739
Alternative Face Shields250
Sewn Masks8869
Baby Monitors88
Trash Bags11,695
Alternative PPE Gowns298
Ear Protectors66
Phone Charger11

More on making masks…

Good morning.The attachment (black box with white writing) may be helpful message for my sister and brother mask-makers in Ventura County. I wonder if you would like to include it in one of your email messages? I do not know who wrote it. It was contained in a message I received from another quilt shop where I used to live. When I read it, I thought it was something that would resonate with other sewists and they might find it uplifting and true for them. When I think I can’t pin another pleat or sew another stitch, including winding a new bobbin to change the thread color to match the fabric, I think these words will help me persevere.Thank you for all you do! – John Fraser

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(Credit: St. Mathews United Methodists Church, Quilt and Craft Group, Newbury Park) 

And for the sewer for whom mask-making was “challenging”…

Some important medical information.

We’re posting this to help people make better choices as to when to seek medical help with COVID-19 symptoms.

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