Columbiana County woman’s homemade masks in high demand


Alexandria McDole, who lost her restaurant job, has been making face masks over the past several days for anyone who needs them

WELLSVILLE, Ohio (WKBN) – There’s been a big push on social media, asking people to make face masks to help curb the spread of COVID-19. On Monday, Pennsylvania’s health director said these masks aren’t the best option but one Columbiana County woman says she thinks her masks will still help.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said homemade masks are considered last-resort options for health care professionals treating patients with the coronavirus. Its website says they should be used with caution:

“Homemade masks should ideally be used in combination with a face shield that covers the entire front (that extends to the chin or below) and sides of the face.”

“I think what we’re doing is a good idea, considering how bad Italy got and China,” said Alexandria McDole, who lives in Wellsville.

She said she’s in a position to prepare for the worst.

Now with more spare time after losing her job in a restaurant, she and her friend made over 100 cotton face masks in the past two days. She said anyone with a sewing machine can do it.

Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said hospital workers need specialized M-95 masks, which are designed to stop the spread of respiratory illnesses, including the coronavirus.

“Unfortunately, the regular masks that most people would have are not the masks hospitals and health care systems will need.”

But McDole said those could run out and her masks can be used by everyday people who just want to limit their spread of germs.

“From my one post, I had hundreds of people messaging me, asking for masks. You know when you’re messaging a complete stranger and there’s over 100 messages a day, there’s a high demand for it.”

Fabric stores will be closed under the stay-at-home orders in both Ohio and Pennsylvania. McDole said people who saw her work online sent her money to help buy some supplies over the weekend. Her goal at this point is to make and donate as many masks as she can.

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