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Volunteers at SewingMachine.com has sewn over 500 masks

WEST POINT — Volunteers at sewingmachine.com in downtown West Point have thus far sewn more than 500 masks to help in the fight against COVID-19. They began late March and will continue as long as the need is there.

Making the masks in the downtown store are sewingmachine.com owner and West Point Mayor Steve Tramell, Sheila Simpson, Penney Daniel and Rachel Ramirez. Several other women from the Georgia-Alabama State Line Chapter of the Quilts of Valor are making them at home and dropping them off at the store.

“Some people have called us to ask if they can buy them,” Tramell said. “We are not selling them. We are donating them to places where they are really needed.”

Those destinations include WellStar West Georgia Hospital in LaGrange, EAMC-Lanier Hospital in Valley and Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany, Georgia, a 691-bed healthcare facility in a community that has been especially hard hit by COVID-19.

“If we can help anyone with what we can do here, we will,” Tramell said, adding that the masks are being sent at no charge to hospitals and first responders.

Donations from the public can help cover the costs of materials.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending that everyone wear some kind of facial covering when they are out of the home. This is especially needed in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (grocery stores, pharmacies, etc.).

According to the CDC, the use of simple cloth face coverings can slow the spread of COVID-19. They can be fashioned at home from household items or made in the home at low cost and can serve as a voluntary public health measure. Cloth face coverings are not recommended for children two years of age or younger or for anyone who has trouble breathing.

According to the CDC, face coverings should

•fit snugly but comfortably against the face;

•be secured with ties or ear loops;

•include multiple layers of fabric;

•allow for breathing without restriction and

•be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to its shape.