State High Student Preparing to Help Local Hospitals at Home

Olivia Zhang, Staff Writer

Under the COVID-19 pandemic, the State College Area School District has announced all school cancellation until April 6th. Due to the circumstance, State High students are currently following online instructions with optional zoom meetings to get in touch. In a zoom meeting held on March 23rd by social studies teacher Mr. Andy Merritt, junior Sarah Devan shared that she had been working on a “Mask Project” to help the local hospital. 

The mask project is intended to create mask covers for N95 respirator masks as an additional layer of protection. As hospitals are in shortage of N95 respirator masks, a normal N95 mask must be disposed of as soon as it gets bodily fluids on it, such as from coughing or sneezing. Though the mask cover can not filter out germs or replace actual masks, it can be helpful from preventing moisture ruining them.  

After Devan communicating with her mother, a family physician working for Geisinger, she was inspired to start preparing to support any medical professions that needed longer mask protection under crisis. “Right now I am making mask covers to prepare for when they need them,” she said.

With scientific and medical information from physicians, Devan designed a better fitted mask cover pattern based on the existing patterns from the internet. She also simulated coughs and sneezes by using spraying bottles to test the efficacy of covers for different sized masks.  The mask covers can only be made by using 100% cotton shirts after boiling and drying. After testing for efficiency, the fabric can be cut in patterns and sew together as a helpful cover. More detailed instructions and pictures are listed by Devan in a google document for anyone interested in helping, and all finished products will be donated to Mount Nittany Medical center or any medical facilities in need. 

Devan has been sharing the process through school, and she is looking forward to spreading more information on social media.  “The more people we have working on it, the better we can serve the needs of our medical professionals as this pandemic progresses,” she said. 

 

Junior Sarah Devan has created an instruction document to teach others how to make mask cover out of a cotton material, hoping to support the local hospitals if they need additional mask protection. “The more people we have working on it, the better we can serve the needs of our medical professionals as this pandemic progresses,” she said.
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