Two Washington state skilled nursing facilities were the first in the state to receive hand-stitched face masks in a global campaign to provide millions of masks to providers amid critical shortages.  

Arlington Health and Rehabilitation in Arlington, WA, received a donation of 200 masks, while Mt. Baker Care Center in Bellingham, WA, received a donation of 35 masks from the Days for Girls organization. 

“These masks allow our caregivers to provide proper care to our residents while also staying safe,” Terry Myers, Arlington Health and Rehabilitation administrator, said. 

Through its “Masks 4 Millions” campaign, Days for Girls has pledged to provide millions of masks to healthcare providers around the world during the coronavirus pandemic.

The international organization normally focuses on providing access to menstrual health care and products to girls who would likely have to miss school during their periods. Instead, its more than 70,000 volunteers are being asked to help sew masks in order to donate to providers during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Volunteers are sewing together cloth masks, which help prevent person-to-person droplet transmission and help prevent potentially infectious droplets from entering the air, explained Karen E. Harris, MD, MPH, Days for Girls International Board president and physician. 

“Cloth masks may be more comfortable in the long term and may lead to greater adherence by those possibly infected individuals,” Harris said. 

The mask donations were hand-delivered to both facilities last week. 

“We are so grateful to the many volunteers that put their sewing skills to the test and spent their valuable time on this project so that we can continue to do our jobs and serve this community,” Myers added.