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ThedaCare Accepting Handmade Masks

Grateful for the Community Support during the COVID-19 Response

NEENAH, Wis. – During this unprecedented time of the COVID-19 response, ThedaCare is inspired by the community support and offers to help our organization. We have received many requests from the public to donate handmade fabric masks. We are extremely grateful for these offers.

We encourage the community to continue to make handmade masks. There are many potential uses for these masks including:

  • Patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 when they return home
  • Family members of patients who have tested positive for COVID-19
  • Higher-risk populations within our nursing homes and assisted living facilities
  • Patients and visitors to our clinics and hospitals

Our team members will not be using the homemade masks in place of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). At this time, we currently have an adequate supply of PPE, including N95 masks, for our team members and are following CDC guidelines on appropriate use. Team member safety is always top of mind. We want our team members to have the equipment they need to do their jobs in a safe manner.

A specified number of handmade masks will be stored with ThedaCare Emergency Management to be readily available if a future need for them should arise. Excess fabric masks will be shared with the community and other organizations in need.

Recently, the CDC advised 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. The CDC has established conditions for wearing cloth face coverings in public settings in addition to continuing hand washing and social distancing. For CDC recommendations, please click here.

It is important to note that handmade masks are not meant to prevent people from getting COVID-19. The masks are a way to help stop people from touching their face and mouth areas and help limit spread of droplets from cough or sneezing. These sewn masks can also be distributed to patients to help provide a protective barrier.

If community members are using homemade masks, those masks should be routinely washed. According to the CDC, a washing machine should suffice in properly washing a face covering.

In order to sew handmade fabric masks, ThedaCare offers a pattern for flat and pleated masks. The instructions can be found at the end of this document. The CDC also has sew and no-sew instructions that can be found here. Please use washable 100% cotton fabric, double layer with different fabrics for each side of the mask. Additional suggestions are listed on the site.

With the onset of continual masking for our healthcare team members, community members are also encouraged to sew headbands with buttons allowing the elastic straps on the mask to attach to the buttons rather than ears. Team members will continue to wear the appropriate surgical and N95 masks and have the option to wear headbands to eliminate the discomfort behind their ears. Community members are encouraged to use the approved patterns at the end of this document for the two headband styles.

ThedaCare has identified specific drop off locations and hours for mask donations:

 

  • Goodwill Grand Chute, 4759 Michaels Dr, Appleton
    • Monday/Wednesday: 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

  • Goodwill Darboy, N189 Stoney Brook Rd, Appleton
    • Thursday: 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

  • Goodwill Neenah, 907 S. Green Bay Rd, Neenah
    • Monday/Wednesday 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

  • ThedaCare Medical Center-Appleton (West Entrance Vestibule), 1818 N Meade St, Appleton
    • 24/7, subject to change
    • Donations collected in the bin just inside the West Entrance Vestibule

  • ThedaCare Medical Center-Neenah (North Entrance Vestibule), 130 2nd St, Neenah
    • 24/7, subject to change
    • Donations collected in the bin just inside the North Entrance Vestibule

  • ThedaCare Medical Center-Berlin, 225 Memorial Drive, Berlin
    • Monday-Friday 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
    • Place donations in the large tote just inside the main hospital entrance.

  • ThedaCare Medical Center-New London, 1405 South Mill St., New London
    • Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
    • Please call 715-281-8305 prior to arrival so someone can meet you at the loading dock at the back of the hospital.

  • ThedaCare Medical Center Shawano, 100 County Rd B, Shawano
    • Monday-Sunday 5:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.
    • Donations are being collected just inside the main entrance of the hospital

  • ThedaCare Medical Center-Waupaca
    • Donations collected at Waupaca City Hall, 111 S. Main St. Please call City Hall prior to arrival so someone can meet you at the door.
    • Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

  • ThedaCare Medical Center-Wild Rose, 601 Grove Ave, Wild Rose
    • Donations can be dropped off at the main hospital entrance.

 

Donations will only be accepted at the locations listed. Donations will not be taken at any of our other locations.

ThedaCare deeply appreciates the community outreach to help our team members. Those who are sewing masks are encouraged to join the ThedaCare Mask Makers group to share ideas and information about handmade fabric masks. For more information, please contact Jean Blaney McGinnis, Community Health Improvement Volunteer Coordinator at jean.blaneymcginnis@thedacare.org.

Additional resources:

 

About ThedaCare
For more than 110 years, ThedaCare® has been committed to improving the health of the communities it serves in Northeast and Central Wisconsin. The organization delivers care to a community of more than 600,000 residents in 18 counties and employs more than 7,000 healthcare professionals. ThedaCare has 180 locations including seven hospitals located in Appleton, Neenah, Berlin, New London, Shawano, Waupaca and Wild Rose. ThedaCare is the first in Wisconsin to be a Mayo Clinic Care Network Member, giving our specialists the ability to consult with Mayo Clinic experts on a patient’s care. ThedaCare is a not-for-profit healthcare organization with a level II trauma center, comprehensive cancer treatment, stroke and cardiac programs as well as a foundation dedicated to community service.