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Katy woman sewing face masks to help health care workers fighting COVID-19

The masks are made of cotton and are not made to prevent someone from getting the COVID-19.

HOUSTON — A Katy woman is trying to help the healthcare workers who are battling COVID-19 on the frontlines, specifically, the ones who are in desperate need of more personal protective equipment.

Amy Casto runs the Texas Rescue Crafters. Normally, they focus on sewing supplies to help animals.

Now, they're joining the fight for COVID-19, by sewing cotton face masks, similar to the medical procedure masks healthcare workers use on a daily basis.

"A lot of nurses reached out, and they’re from different hospitals," Casto said. "It was my responsibility, I felt, to help."

Casto said the masks are not meant to prevent someone from getting COVID-19.

She said they have two main uses: a barrier to put over the nose and mouth of a sick person or to put over an N95 mask to help prolong its usable lifespan.

The Emergency Nurses Association’s Houston chapter president says the association has no literature that shows these cloth masks are effective as personal protective equipment.

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"I don’t even mind if we send a bunch and they have to throw them out at the end of the day or after a few uses, it’s OK," Casto said.

Another Houston nonprofit, TXRX Labs, is asking its members to chip in. The maker space is gathering members to create washable procedure masks with a disposable filter inside, surgical gowns, plastic face shields and replacement N95 respirators.

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Amy cleans the masks before leaving them on the front porch for interested nurses to pick them up.

"Those labeled as essential in our society don’t have the choice to stay home," Casto said.