It started as a project to provide masks—or at least “helper masks” that would provide an extra measure of protection--for nurses, doctors, EMT’s and other providers on the front lines of COVID-19 defense in Wallowa County. With that accomplished, a loosely-knit, informal group began making masks for residents of Wallowa River House, the Joseph House, Olive Branch Clinic, Pioneer Guest Home, Wallowa Valley Senior Living, and the Center for Wellness. They have made more than 400 masks and donated all of them.
Then the CDC recommended that everyone wear a mask when in close proximity to other people—places like grocery stores, pumping gas, or a more ordinary visit to a healthcare provider—so that we would not give the virus to others. Suddenly, most of us were wondering where to get a mask, and what kind we needed to wear.
But no worries: the more than 40 volunteers are focusing their energy and compassion around providing masks for the rest of us in Wallowa County.
The masks have two layers of tightly-woven cotton fabric, which is sufficient to reduce the transmission of coronavirus (Sars-CoV-2) from you to other people significantly, although not entirely, according to recent University of Missouri research.
But where can you get one of them? At the back door of Deve Wolfe’s Tempting Teal in Joseph. And at the back door of Gail Hillock’s Prairie Creek Quilts in Enterprise, via a white-lidded plastic tote at the back of her store. Gail did not want to sell the masks. But she is asking that if possible, you mail a small donation to Prairie Creek Quilts, 112 S. River Street, Enterprise 97828 so that the volunteers can purchase more materials and make more masks.
If you have questions about face masks, need a specific size, or need more robust filtration, you can give Gail a call at the Prairie Creek Quilt number: 541-426-3900, or Deve at 541-432-9653. Leave a message and they’ll get back to you.