Coronavirus

JOANN Fabrics teaching crafters how to make facemasks to help amid COVID shortages

JOANN Fabrics teaching crafters how to make facemasks to help amid COVID shortages

iStock/zlyka2008(VIRGINIA) — Amid shortages for the items during the COVID-19 pandemic, the national retail chain JOANN Fabric and Craft Stores is showing its crafty patrons how to help locals and frontline workers sew face masks. 

On Friday, the store released a step-by-step YouTube video about how to do it — and it already had nearly 1.2 million views as of Tuesday morning. “How to make a face mask” is a trending search on the video giant, with dozens of offerings. 

Doug Andrews, a store manager at a JOANN store in Richmond, Virginia, tells ABC affiliate WRIC-TV: “It’s very challenging but it’s very inspiring. Our customers are above and beyond creative and when something like this hits, they just put it in gear.” He adds that people were lining up for the crafty masks. 

Julian Walker, vice president of communications for the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association, tells WRIC-TV that the masks may not be medical grade, but the gesture is appreciated. Experts will evaluate the homemade masks to see if they pass medical muster. 

“There are many Good Samaritans who want to help out during these unprecedented times where we are all facing this public health risk,” says Walker.  “We’re certainly not discouraging that idea, but our primary focus at this point is to try to tap inventory for supply and resources of medical-grade equipment.”

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