MOBILIZING CONGREGATIONS TO HELP ENSURE MASKS FOR ALL
Weekly "MASKS FOR ALL" Coalition Leader Update
Each every Thursday coalition leaders meet to share information and updated about the MASKS FOR ALL project in their coalition. Below is the video of the conference calls with information that may be valuable to your congregation or organization.
May 14 Meeting Video
What is "Masks for All?"
The Need: To reopen public spaces in our communities, while limiting transmission of the COVID-19 virus, wearing face masks will be strongly recommended, if not required. Government leaders have asked Houston Responds to help provide personal use face masks to help ensure there are MASKS FOR ALL as we transition out of quarantine, especially for those in under-resourced areas.
The Goal: 1,000 congregations providing over 1,000,000 masks. How? 500 to 1,000 congregations mobilizing to create 100 to 200 masks (sewn or un-sewn) per week. The love, service, and generosity of local congregations will ensure over 1,000,000 people in Greater Houston will have potentially life-saving reusable masks.
Are You Willing & Able?: Whether you are already engaged in making masks, would your congregation or organization be willing and able to participate with us and our local coalitions?
Ways to Participate
Below are the ways you can help. For details about the processes and responsibilities involved with the various opportunities please see guides provided in the Resource section below. Financial contributions to support the purchase of supplies and materials can be made online. Please designate your donation for "Masks For All".
• Donate Masks, Supplies or Materials
• Produce Masks
Sewn & DIY Methods Available
• Serve as a Mask Drop-off Site
Collecting & Delivering to a Distribution Site
• Serve as a Mask Distribution Site
Receiving & Distributing to Recipients
1. Appoint a Contact Person
2. Register with the Online Response Form
3. You Will be Contacted for Coordination
5. Use the Promo Tools to Engage Others
To get started, sign up using using the link below. Once you have completed the form, return to this page to access the resource guides with recommended instructions for the various aspects of participation and promotional materials you can use to with your congregation or organization.
We have provided resource guides with information and instructions for each of the ways congregations can participate in MASKS FOR ALL.
• Supply Donation Guide
• Mask Production Guide
• Mask Drop-off Site Guide
• Mask Distribution Site Guide
Access tools to help promote Mask For All to your congregation. Get Tools here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: We are unable to participate at this time but would like to contribute financially. How can we give online?
A: Donations can be made to support the purchase of supplies and materials for “Masks for All” through Houston Responds. Visit the Houston Responds donation page and designate your gift for “MASKS FOR ALL”.
Q: My congregation is not currently participating. Can I volunteer as an individual?
A: We are encouraging everyone to get their congregation involved to help produce as many masks as possible. However, individuals can sign up to volunteer and we will connect you with others participating in your area. Complete the response form and list yourself as the "contact person" and your personal address for the "congregation / organization address". If you attend a local congregation we would still like you to put the name in the "congregation / organization name" field. If you do not attend a local congregation, please enter "None".
Q: What if I want to donate materials or supplies?
A: Please complete the response form and answer “Yes” to Donate Supplies & Materials. Someone will be in touch with you within 48 hours.
Q: What if our church or organization doesn’t belong to a Houston Responds coalition?
A: That’s no problem, complete the response form and we will connect you with the coalition leader for your area.
Q: Why are you making homemade masks?
A: To reopen public spaces, while limiting transmission of COVID-19, all will be urged to wear personal use face masks. Local government leaders have asked Houston Responds to help ensure the availability of MASKS FOR ALL, especially in under-resourced areas.
Q: Are homemade masks effective?
A: Yes. A Cambridge University study found in 2013 that cotton-blend masks are 80% as effective at filtration as a surgical mask, and appropriate for emergency use during an influenza pandemic. 100% cotton and other materials are also acceptable.
Q: What is the best material to use for making personal use masks?
A: The test data shows that the best choices for DIY masks are 100% cotton t-shirts, pillowcases, or other cotton materials. These materials filter out approximately 50% of 0.2-micron particles, similar in size to the coronavirus. They are also as easy to breathe through as surgical masks, which makes them comfortable enough to wear for several hours.
Q: Who needs a mask during the coronavirus pandemic?
A: Everyone. The CDC advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. This is NOT an N95 mask.
Q: Is it okay to use a hand sewn mask?
A: The FDA recently issued emergency regulations of its enforcement policy for masks. These CDC masks recommended for personal use are not considered medical grade masks under their guidelines because; 1) they are not labeled or otherwise intended for use by a healthcare professional; 2) they are not labeled or otherwise for use in a healthcare facility or environment; and 3) they do not include any drugs, biologics, or anti-microbial/anti-viral agents.
Q: Can a doctor or nurse use these masks?
A: No. These masks should not be used as a substitute from FDA-compliant medical masks. They are for personal non-medical use only.
Q: Are these masks made for children?
A: Currently, we are producing the CDC one size fits all, but we are encouraging donations of masks for children.
Q: Do I still need to practice social distancing while in public while wearing a face mask?
A: Yes. Wearing a face covering is not a substitute for maintaining a 6-feet social distance or hand washing as these remain important steps to slowing down the spread of the virus.
Q: Are there any exceptions for not wearing a face mask?
A: According to Harris County, face coverings shall be worn except when:
Exercising outside or engaging in physical activity outside
Alone in a separate single space, whether indoors or outdoors;
In the presence only of other members of one’s residence, whether inside or outside the residence;
When doing so poses a greater mental or physical health, safety or security risk; or
When eating or drinking.
Q: Can I get a fine for not wearing a face mask in public?
A: No, although it is very important that you wear one. The Houston Police Department has stated that even though there is no fine for not wearing a mask in public, businesses have the right to require customers to wear a mask while on the premises.
Q: Do I need anything other than a face mask to protect myself and others?
A: Getting a “filter” will improve the capabilities of homemade cloth masks. You can cut filters found around your house and place between the fabric of your mask. Filters that can be used are vacuum filters and coffee filters. It is important to note that any “filter” you use does not contain fiberglass.
Q: What is the proper way to wear a cloth mask?
A: Cloth face coverings should—
fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
be secured with ties or ear loops
include multiple layers of fabric
allow for breathing without restriction
be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape
Individuals should be careful not to touch their eyes, nose, and mouth when removing their face covering and wash hands immediately after removing.
Q: How often should I wash my cloth mask?
A: According to the CDC, your mask should be washed routinely depending on frequency of use. Others have recommended washing your mask after each use as an extra precaution.
Q: How does one safely sterilize/clean a cloth mask?
A: A washing machine should suffice in properly washing a face covering. According to this article, you can also handwash and it is important to wash in a warm-water cycle.
Q: What is the proper way to take off a mask?
A: Individuals should be careful not to touch their eyes, nose, and mouth when removing their face covering and wash hands immately after removing. More information here.
Q: Do I need to wash my hands more often if I am using a face mask?
A: Yes. While wearing a face mask you may touch your face more often. You should wash or sanitize your hands anytime after you touch your face or adjust your mask.
Q: Who should not wear cloth face masks?
A: Cloth face coverings should not be placed on children younger than two years of age.
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