Residents can drop off homemade masks at the CFD from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 25

    Minnesota Governor Tim Walz announced that the week of April 18-25 is Homemade Mask Week in the state and the Crookston Fire Department will be participating. Gov. Walz asked fire departments to staff stations so residents can drop off their homemade cloth masks on Saturday, April 25 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The fire departments would then distribute the masks to local nursing homes, homeless shelters, veterans’ homes and group homes for their employees and residents to wear.

    CFD Captain Bob Magsam told the Times that people dropping off masks can ring the door buzzer at the front door when items are dropped off.

    “Remember to practice good social distancing and have community members leave masks to collect once they have moved a safe distance away,” read a release from the Minnesota State Fire Department Association.

    “This collection effort is to help your community!” the release added later. “While they don’t replace medical-grade personal protective equipment, cloth masks help keep the wearer’s germs from getting on other people, which is key to stopping the spread of COVID-19.”

    Guidelines on creating face masks include:

    • Build a mask that tightly encloses the area around the nose and mouth, from the bridge of the nose down to the chin, and extending onto the cheek beyond the corners of the mouth, so no gaps occur when talking or moving.

        • Use mask material that is tightly woven but breathable. Double-layer the fabric if possible.

    • Masks must be made from washable material such as fabric. Choose a fabric that can handle high temperatures and bleach without shrinking or otherwise deforming.

        • The mask should be tolerant of expected amounts of moisture from breathing.
Suggested materials:

    • Outer layer tea cloth

    • Inner layer of a microfleece to wick away moisture

    • Use an accordion fold to mimic a hospital mask as much as possible

    • Use a fat woven shoelace type material to bind the sides (such as quilt binding)

    • For straps, use elastic straps, shoelaces, or strips of fabric to loop behind the ears.

    “The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings to protect others from COVID-19. Cloth face masks can help prevent the wearer’s germs from infecting others – especially in situations where they may spread the virus without symptoms. Cloth face masks are not a proven way to prevent COVID-19 from infecting the wearer.”