Mask drop-off set Saturday at local fire departments

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Contributed / Metro Newspaper Service

Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan launched a week-long, statewide homemade mask drive this week, April 20-25, to encourage Minnesotans to create homemade masks to donate them to those working and living in congregate living facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Residents can deliver homemade masks to their local fire department from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 25. Most fire departments will have a drop box or container for the masks as the state recommends firefighters to avoid contact. Firefighters will then deliver the masks to local congregate living facilities for their employees and residents to wear.

Brainerd lakes area fire departments taking part include: Brainerd, Deerwood, Crosby, Crosslake, Nisswa, Mission, Little Falls, Motley, Pierz, Pillager, Randall, Scandia Valley in Cushing and Flensburg.

The Minnesota Department of Health offers guidelines on face mask design patterns and instructions on its website at .

It states to 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 that loop behind the ears.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends wearing cloth face coverings to protect others from COVID-19. Cloth face masks can help prevent the wearer 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.
Those in Morrison County who have questions can call Morrison County Emergency Management at 320-632-0195, it stated in a news release.

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