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Producing medical caps old hat for local seamstresses

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Troy Shantz

A collective of helpful seamstresses in Sarnia is delivering hundreds of medical caps to front-line medical workers.

“People started reaching out. Within a day I had over 100 requests. Now I have over 700 and it’s growing,” says Stacey Skeates, one of several local sewers producing the caps.

They’re in demand by health-care workers looking to prevent contaminated droplets from COVID-19 patients getting in their hair, Skeates explained.

A hobby seamstress, she heard of a local nurse looking for shower caps as a mean of protection. She offered to help and it “snowballed from there,” she said.

“The nurse that I was originally working with, she told me that the virus can live in your hair for up to three days. It just protects them a little more.”

Nurses in Sarnia, Kitchener, Stratford and Wallaceburg are sporting the caps now, and local paramedics have requested 200, she said.

The volunteer makers include retirees and members of the Corunna Legion’s sewing club, she said.

A sampling of the medical caps made for health-care workers by local sewers.
Submitted Photo

Seamstresses with basic knowledge can produce a cap in about 35 minutes, said Skeates, who had turned out 150 so far.

“My hands are a little bit sore but I’m getting into the rhythm of it,” she said with a laugh.

She expects the group to complete the first order for 700 this week.

“There’s a need for caps and protection but there’s also a need for community members to feel useful, like they’re contributing. Especially the older generation.”

Skeates also makes facemasks for the public to wear, as well as PSWs and social workers who can’t always observe social distancing. The design includes a pocket in which to slide a filter, she said.

Last week, Bluewater Health appealed for donations of homemade masks on its Facebook page. Though not regarded as effective for health-care workers, they can be worn by patients to help prevent the spread of germs.

For more information about the hospital’s needs, email Kathy Alexander at [email protected].


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