BOCA RATON, Fla. — Nationwide, hospitals and medical centers are seeing shortages in tools to safely combat the coronavirus. Supplies like masks, gowns, and other items have been hard to come by and first responders have had to adjust.
Since the threat of COVID-19, organizations have done what they can to support those treating patients with the virus. Students at THOS fashion school in Boca Raton are using their skills to make masks for area first responders.
"We can look at something and based on the shape, size, form, have an idea on how to create a pattern for that," said Letty Sanchez, and instructor for the school. She's leading a group of students every day to make hundreds of masks for area hospitals that need them.
The masks are made of a fibrous absorbent fabric, but are they effective?
CBS12 News asked local doctors if makeshift masks made from home can help during this time of shortages.
"If we ran out of masks, this is a mechanism of last resort," said Dr. Bruce Eisenberg from the Medical Group of South Florida.
Eisenberg says the masks are not as safe to use as an N-95, but can be better than nothing. The Medical Group's CEO says they are not far from totally running out of protective gear.
"We were down to 50 masks and we have 90 employees," said Dr. Josh Smith. "So we're re-using the same masks throughout the day, similar to what hospitals are doing."
The school tries to produce about one to two hundred masks a day. Sanchez says the school has already donated masks to local clinics, including ManorCare in Delray Beach.