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How to help keep North Memorial Health workers safe

Working with local companies, North Memorial has assembled kits for people at home to sew together mask covers to extend the life of N95 masks.

ROBBINSDALE, Minn. — In an effort to preserve personal protective equipment (PPE), North Memorial Health figured out a way to do that with something they already have. 

They figured out a way to use surgical wrap to make N95 mask covers. It just takes a few minutes and some sewing ability.

“We’re currently in N95 extended use and reuse,” explained Dr. Jennifer Tessmer-Tuck, VP of medical affairs at North Memorial Health.

Tessmer-Tuck said to extend the use of their N95 respirators healthcare workers are currently covering them with surgical masks. Without the surgical masks as cover, Dr. Tessmer-Tuck says staff would have to throw out the N95 mask after one use. They believe covers sewn out of surgical wrap can do the job, preserving their supply of surgical masks and N95 masks.

“Adding in these mask covers will allow us to continue to safely use the N95 respirators for as long as we can,” said Dr. Tessmer-Tuck.

Working with Blue Cross Blue Shield, Sew Good Goods, and Knit & Bolt, North Memorial has assembled kits for people at home to sew these masks. Starting Friday, people can pick up the kits from Knit & Bolt in Northeast Minneapolis.

“I just need folks that are comfortable and competent sewers to come and pick up kits,” said Megan Boesen, the owner Knit & Bolt

When Boesen was 10-years-old she learned she had ulcerative colitis, causing multiple hospital stays over the years. She’s glad to participate in helping out in the fight against Covid-19.

“Being able to give back to all the doctors and nurses that have helped me throughout the years is really great,” said Boesen.

“We love it when the masks come in. It’s just a little piece of love from someone out in the community for our healthcare workers,” Said Dr. Tessmer-Tuck.

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