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Pima Community College students, staff donate masks and gloves to healthcare workers

Pima Community College students, staff donate masks and gloves to healthcare workers

From the April's Tucson-area coronavirus coverage: 1,200+ Pima County cases, stay-home order extended series
N95 mask, coronavirus

Banner Health is accepting donations of facemasks and other protective gears. All items must be new.

Pima Community College students and staff are donating personal protective equipment to healthcare workers and making masks to donate to help the community during the coronavirus pandemic. 

The college donated N95 masks and gloves to Pima County earlier this month to Pima County for the county to distribute to medical professionals, Pima Community College said in a news release. 

About 50 Pima Fashion Design and Clothing Department students are also making masks for healthcare professionals and for the public, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

A local hospital nurse asked a friend who is a fashion design student to make her a durable, washable cover for her N95 mask, the school said. The cover can extend the life of N95 masks, which are in short supply. 

That request turned into a project for several Pima students who are making the masks upon request to donate to the Community Food Bank. The students are also sending masks as a "thank you" gift for people who donate to the Pima Foundation. 

Nancy Spaulding, head of the Fashion Design and Clothing Department, said the mask sewing project is now part of some classes in Pima’s new virtual program.

“We had to adapt very quickly," she said in the release. "Everyone is working hard and doing well despite the circumstances and logistic challenges in getting materials to students with everyone staying safe."

Businesses are donating fabric, providing sewing machines and sanitizing the masks before they're donated to local charities. 

The college is also assessing the need to donate ventilators that are used in its healthcare program labs, preparing to make those donations if it's asked to do so. 

Contact reporter Stephanie Casanova at scasanova@tucson.com. On Twitter: @CasanovaReports

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