Essential employees need help from community for face coverings to wear out in the field for protection due to COVID-19
All volunteers willing to donate their time and sewing or handiwork skills are being urged to respond to a call that went out late last week for Los Alamos County employees who need face coverings, as suggested by the Centers for Disease Control for those working out and about in public places.
“While we received several positive responses, it’s not enough. We still have a great need for more face coverings in the short term,” said Beverley Simpson, Emergency Manager, adding that lead times are nearly three weeks to receive any shipments, due to the backlog being experienced across the nation.
Simpson stressed that the face coverings will immediately be distributed to essential services employees in the field, not stockpiled for possible use.
“Police officers, firefighters, ambulance drivers, bus drivers, Utilities’ electric line workers or those working at the water and wastewater treatment plants – these are just a few examples of County employees who are right now out in the field, working daily to provide services to the community – they need your help,” she said.
Simpson said the County is working with two local groups making large numbers of the face coverings, but commented that even a small quantity of coverings that local residents might consider contributing to the County would be put to good use.
“Maybe you’re one person who made ten masks for your family over the weekend and you find that you have three left over that you are willing to donate – that’s three County workers that you can help immediately,” Simpson said, “In a community of nearly 9,000 households, if each household would drop off even one or two coverings that they can spare, we would have enough to meet our immediate needs prior to receiving our supply from our vendor.”
The County has set up a bin at its Procurement office located at 101 Camino Entrada, inside Building 3. Hand-sewn face coverings can be dropped off in the bin between the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 to 3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. The bin will be marked for the collection in the foyer located between the Procurement offices and the County’s warehouse to minimize person-to-person contact.
Residents should turn on Camino Entrada Drive then follow signs leading to Pajarito Cliffs Site and Building 3 on the east edge of joint County/Schools operational facilities.
Simpson said each face covering should ideally be individually packaged in a sandwich baggie and contain a slotted pocket for a coffee filter to be inserted into the hand-sewn mask as shown in one of many You Tube videos:
County staff will conduct quality control checks in cooperation with the Emergency Management Office as items arrive and are distributed.