My Mask Protects You and Your Mask Protects Me

Several local residents have been hard at work making masks and donating them to front line workers

Nurses+at+Dr.+Reinhardts+office+in+Altoona+wearing+Jane+Hydes+homemade+medical+masks.

Photo courtesy of Jane Hyde

Nurses at Dr. Reinhardt’s office in Altoona wearing Jane Hyde’s homemade medical masks.

With the shortage of medical necessities like protective masks, gloves and gowns, doctors, nurses, retail workers and other essential employees cross the United States are in danger of exposing themselves and their loved ones to the coronavirus.

But thanks to generous people like local residents Julie Horner and Jane Hyde, these essential workers are getting the personal protective equipment they need to keep themselves and their families safe.

Most of the masks have gone to skilled nursing homes, home care aides, police officers, school districts providing student lunches, hospitals, and doctor’s offices”

— Julie Horner

Tyrone native Jane Hyde has donated well over 100 homemade medical masks to local doctor’s offices, family and friends.

“I will continue as long as I have supplies and as long as they are needed,” said Hyde.

Horner and her sister Christina Holsinger have made over 1000 medical masks. They have been supplying their homemade medical masks mainly to the front line workers, family, and friends but they have also donated many of their medical masks to other organizations.

“Most of the masks have gone to skilled nursing homes, home care aides, police officers, school districts providing student lunches, hospitals, and doctor’s offices,” said Horner.

For the homemade medical masks to be CDC (Centers for Disease Control) approved, they have to be made with a certain amount of layers and different fabrics to ensure that the mask is able to protect the public.

“They had to be three layers with flannel or fleece in the middle and cotton on the outside layers,” said Hyde.

Both Hyde and Horner began to make the masks about five weeks ago when the outbreak of the coronavirus was in a rapid spread. Since they began the materials to make them are getting harder to find. Medical facilities are top priority to receive medical masks creating the need for the materials, especially elastic, at high demand.

“We have been fortunate to have been able to find what we need, although it is getting difficult to find elastic. When we can no longer get elastic, we will get creative and use some other materials,” said Horner.

Hyde has also had some difficulty finding supplies to make homemade medical masks.

I will continue as long as I have supplies and as long as they are needed”

— Jane Hyde

“I did stop for a short time because I ran out of elastic and fleece, but now I’m restocked,” said Hyde.

Just like many people across the United States, Horner and Hyde will continue to make medical masks to protect our frontline workers, family, and friends for as long as there is a need.

“We are extremely grateful to have the skills and equipment to be able to help the community. We will make our masks for as long as there is an urgent need for them,” said Horner.