Respiratory therapy student makes medical masks to help with shortage

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GEORGETOWN, Ky. (WKYT) -- Medical masks are hard to come by. Ask any doctor, nurse, or first responder. However, a respiratory student with a knack for sewing says she can help.

Medical masks are hard to come by. Ask any doctor, nurse, or first responder.

Claire White is studying to become a Respiratory Therapist at Bluegrass Community and Technical College. She says since hospitals have shifted their focus to battling the Coronavirus, her clinical practice has been cancelled and her semester working within the walls of a hospital are over.

She's since joined thousands that can sew by making masks to help while hospitals work around a nationwide shortage of personal protection equipment.

“There’s nothing quite like when someone’s having trouble breathing and you can fix that," said White. "I can’t be there to help do that and learn how to do that right now but I can try to help the people that are there.”

White has since been making the masks from home using many of her own materials.

Birdsong Quilting, Embroidery and Crafts in Georgetown have also stepped in to help. Shannon Burnes, the store owner, has been donating fabric to local doctors and first responders in Georgetown. She says talents can go a long way during a time like this and those that sew should consider joining in.

"Alot of crafting people are used to sitting around in their homes or studio and making their crafts so we are accustomed to sheltering in place. For me I just think it’s a great opportunity to contribute to the community and feel good about the time you are spending in the house."

Burnes has posted steps to make the masks on her social media page. She says many have already donated.

She says while her store will be closed, she will continue to accept donations of the masks where she will give them to those that need them.

She encourages everyone one to only use 100 percent cotton and flannel materials in the masks.

Birdsong Quilting, Embroidery and Crafts is located at 228 East Main Street in Georgetown.

Click this link to learn how to make a mask.

Watch this video on how to make a mask