PT makes masks for healthcare workers

Published 5:21 pm Friday, April 3, 2020

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Marisa Miller is often wearing a mask and encourages her students to do the same. As director of the Physical Therapist Assistant program at Walters State Community College, Miller trains students to provide physical therapy in a variety of settings.

Now, Miller is providing an extra layer of mask protection to many of her former students and other health care providers.

“With the shortage of personal protective equipment for healthcare workers, many are using masks for several days that should only be used once,” said Miller. “I thought about how I could help and I found a pattern for a mask cover that was approved by the CDC. The cover can fit over a respiratory mask. It keeps debris from getting on the mask and makes it possible for the mask to last longer.”

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The mask covers may also be laundered and worn many times – a real plus in these days of Covid-19. The finished mask looks just like a regular one, but will go over a regular mask.

Miller recently made over 200 mask covers with the help of her mother, who sewed away at a second machine. Her husband and her father make up an assembly line of sorts.

Miller uses 100 percent breathable cotton – something the CDC requires – to create the adult and child sized masks.

She syas she has been covered up with requests for the masks, once word got out.

“I’ve had many former students reach out and say that they need 25 for their department or the ICU needs 30. I mail the masks, but I also have a place at home where people can pick them up at my house without any face-to-face contact. People have been so kind and generous. I haven’t asked for anything, but people have left or sent donations, which I have used to buy more supplies,” said Miller.

While most have been distributed locally, Miller has received requests from other states, including some for friends in her small Minnesota hometown.

Those interested in joining Miller in making mask covers may log onto: for instructions.