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East-Central Illinois Health Care Providers Now Accepting Cloth Mask Donations

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In this Sunday, March 22, 2020, photo, provided by Christina Hunter, Briana Danyele sews cloth face masks that say "We Got This!" in her mother's living room in Greer, S.C., which will be sent to health care workers. Legions of everyday Americans are sewing masks for desperate hospitals, nursing homes and homeless shelters amid the expanding coronavirus pandemic.

UPDATE on Wednesday, March 25, 2020: Carle says it can now provide sewing materials thanks to a generous donation. Email makeamask@carle.com with questions, or to arrange pickup of masks.

CHAMPAIGN – Champaign county now has four confirmed cases of COVID-19, with the latest case announced today. 

Local health officials are saying everyone should consider themselves at risk of exposure, continue to stay home as much as possible, and self-monitor for symptoms such as fever, cough and shortness of breath. 

In a statement, Champaign County health care providers and public health officials say area facilities have received offers from volunteers interested in donating homemade cloth masks. 

Area facilities “currently have sufficient supply of surgical masks and other PPE and continue to follow guidelines for the safety of patients and staff,” the statement reads.

But Champaign county facilities have created a way for community members to contribute cloth masks, because, while they don’t prevent COVID-19 and aren’t recommended by the CDC for use by the general public, they can help prevent the spread of germs when worn by people who are sick.

For those who wish to make masks, area providers encourage people to following the directions available in this video on YouTube.

Masks should be bundled in a ziplock bag, 25 per bag. Carle is coordinating pickup of packages of sewn masks from porches within Champaign and Vermilion Counties. Pickup can be arranged by emailing makeamask@carle.com.

The masks will be washed prior to use and redistributed as available to other area healthcare organizations, with a note reading: “These masks do not protect you from the virus that causes COVID-19 but may help prevent the spread of germs. Practicing good hand hygiene, social distancing and staying home are the best protections.”

Volunteers are urged to follow the state’s Stay Home Order and not leave their homes to purchase supplies or bring the masks to any location.

Macon County is also accepting donations of homemade masks and personal protective equipment, via drive-through on Thursday, March 26, 2020, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. and each of the two following Thursdays (April 2 and April 9, 2020) at the Decatur Civic Center drive-through (1 Gary K Anderson Plaza, Decatur, IL 62523).

In a news release from the Macon County health department, health officials say the donations will be distributed to Crossing Healthcare, Decatur Memorial Hospital and HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital.

“The donations can include boxed, unused surgical type masks (including N95 masks); clean handmade, sewn masks; unused, wrapped or boxed gowns and exam gloves; hand sanitizer; bleach wipes and alcohol wipes to help with the national shortage during the COVID-19 outbreak,” the statement reads. “The community should be assured that these donations will be received in accordance with CDC guidelines. Community members should only drop off donations at this designated location at the Decatur Civic Center. Do not bring them to the hospitals or clinics.”

Here’s a list of additional COVID-19 Patient Resources in Champaign County:

Carle:

(217) 902-6100

Visit carle.org for an online screening tool and patient information about COVID-19. A smart form will guide patients through a series of questions to assess their symptoms and risk and provide guidance on how, where or if a patient should seek care.

Champaign-Urbana Public Health District:

(217) 239-7877

Email coronavirus@c-uphd.org

Updated information available at c-uphd.org.

Follow Champaign-Urbana Public Health District on Facebook for up to date information.

Christie:

(217) 366-4070 (8 am – 5 pm; Monday – Friday)

Visit christieclinic.com or follow Christie Clinic on social media for the most up to date information on COVID-19.

Christie Clinic has an authorized testing facility outside the Christie Clinic on Windsor location. Patients identified through screening to need testing will be directed to this location. Patients need to call ahead before coming to the drive through testing location.

Specific instructions for our obstetrics patients and Transformations Medical Weight Loss program clients are located at christieclinic.com/news/coronavirus

OSF 833-OSF KNOW (833-673-5669)

The COVID-19 Nurse Hotline is staffed by OSF registered nurses around the clock, and during times of heavy usage will be staffed by other OSF health care professionals.

Clare, the virtual assistant chatbot on osfhealthcare.org, is equipped to begin screenings for and educate the public about COVID-19.

OSF COVID Companion is a free text messaging tool that the public can use to receive guidance about COVID-19. To subscribe, users can text OSF to 67634.

Promise Health:

Promise does not perform tests for the COVID-19 virus at this time. 

Call (217) 356-1558 for care at Frances Nelson

Call (217) 693-4660 for care at Promise on Walnut

Call (217) 403-5477 for dental care with SmileHealthy

Follow Christine on Twitter: @CTHerman

COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving story, and we are working hard to bring you the most up-to-date information. We recommend checking the Coronavirus Information Center for the most recent numbers and guidance.

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Christine Herman

Christine Herman

Christine Herman is a Ph.D. chemist turned audio journalist who covers health for the Illinois Newsroom. Her reporting for Illinois Public Media/WILL has received awards from the Illinois Associated Press Broadcasters Association, the Public Media Journalists Association and has reached both regional and national audiences through WILL's health reporting partnership with Side Effects Public Media, NPR and Kaiser Health News. Christine started at WILL in 2015.

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