Helena – Cloth-mask requests continue to come into the Lewis and Clark County Emergency Operations Center (EOC), and donations are still being accepted. These masks are intended for individuals and essential businesses in need.
The County has received 1,361 cloth masks to-date. Bozeman’s Masks for Heroes (https://masksforheroes.org/) has generously donated 1,000 masks to Lewis and Clark County and is working on setting up a recurring supply. Individuals in the community have donated an additional 361 masks.
To-date, 247 individual requests have come in for a total of 1,955 masks. These requests come from essential businesses, individuals and families.
Following are examples of some of the requests:
“Area IV Agency on Aging, a program of Rocky Mountain Development Council, Inc. would like to provide masks to clients (seniors over the age of 60 or those with disabilities over the age of 18) who call asking if we can supply them with a mask.”
“My husband and I will need masks when we go to the hospital to deliver our baby. Due date is June”.
“I am a CNA (certified nursing assistant). Recently my employer asked that we wear face coverings for every patient we visit. I am down to my last four paper masks. We do anything from grocery shopping to helping a quadriplegic person retain some normal life in the safety of their home. Many of those we care for are immune compromised or above the age of 65. I personally see about three people every day and would like one mask for each to take extra precautions and reduce contamination from home to home.”
“I am a cancer survivor. I am now, finally, thankfully, off all meds. My 88-year-young mom resides with me and I am the shopper. I would love a mask if possible; if others need more, thanks just the same. Take care.”
“I am a Disabled Veteran-shot through bicep, chest, lung , liver, out back in Vietnam -immune system compromised by agent orange in Vietnam - also had double pneumonia -years ago - also have bouts with colds, bronchitis, nasal infections regularly.”
“I am helping [name removed] for this. He is in his 80s and doesn't have a computer. He hasn't been able to find a mask at Walmart or where he shops.”
Mask distribution priorities will continue as follows: First to high-risk individuals without means to acquire their own mask. Second to organizations with limited resources to acquire masks that are interacting with high-risk individuals (long-term-care facilities, group homes, etc.). Third includes other local businesses.
Boy Scout Troops 214 and 228, coordinated through the Elkhorn Community Organizations Active in Disaster, continue to do weekly mask deliveries.
Lewis and Clark Public Health (LCPH) strongly encourages the public to wear cloth face coverings – not surgical masks or N-95 respirators – in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (like grocery stores and pharmacies).
LCPH does warn that face coverings should not give anyone a false sense of security. Social distancing and hand washing are still very important protective measures and should be continued.
Anyone who wishes to request a mask should fill out this online form: https://forms.gle/Z7UYRKUo4zcMj9Md7 Those without computer or internet access can call the Emergency Operation Center Public Information Line at 406-447-1605 and leave a voicemail with name, phone number, situation and number of masks requested.
If you would like to donate hand-sewn cloth masks, please visit: https://www.volunteerhelena.org/need/detail/?need_id=513520
For those who are able to purchase their own masks, there are a number of vendors available, including:
- Capital Laundry is selling facemasks in both adult and children’s sizes for $3.
- West Paw, Bozeman: https://www.westpaw.com/customer-service/our-team/customer-service#contactus
- Red Ants Pants/Bearpaw Outfitters, White Sulphur Springs: https://redantspants.com/contact-us/
- Pintlar Medical, Philipsburg: http://www.pintlermedical.com/
- ReCreate Designs, Polson: https://www.recreatedesigns.com/
Valerie Stacey, Unified Health Command PPE Coordinator, 457-8891, vstacey(at)lccountymt.gov
Jeni Garcin, Lewis and Clark Co. Communications Coordinator, 208-961-0349, jgarcin(at)lccountymt.gov