DO YOU SEW? A letter from a nurse in our region who works at St. Francis Hospital: "Sew face masks. Yes, there really is a shortage. I am working in it. We are being asked to keep our surgical and N95 masks for 3 shifts before throwing them out or sending them to be sterilized. The cloth face masks do NOT take the place of an N95 mask; they are NOT a barrier to covid 19. They can be used when caring for a non-covid patient which frees up resources for staff caring for a covid positive patient. There are tons of websites for patterns with elastics or ties. Here are 2 links for easy sewn masks with elastic. Please make sure the fabric is cotton and is pre-washed. Remember that the staff has to launder them daily in hot water. No need to use the flannel that these two patterns call for cotton is fine. Completed masks can be dropped off at Trinity Episcopal Church, 55 River Rd, Collinsville, CT 06019. Middlesex Hospital is also collecting masks - more info here .