Tompkins County needs mask making volunteers

Local News

In this photo taken on Thursday, March 19, 2020, Sien Lagae, works on a mouth mask, meant to help protect from the spread of COVID-19, on her sewing machine at home in Torhout, Belgium. Lagae runs a social media group of volunteers who are making mouth masks for family and friends as well as hospital and caregivers in Belgium due to a shortage in supply of industrially made masks. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.(Sien Lagae via AP)

ITHACA, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — In an effort to distribute cloth masks to every essential worker in the county, the Tompkins County Health Department is asking for volunteers to make masks.

The health department is seeking volunteers who:

  • Have sewing experience, although some people without sewing experience can help by cutting materials and supporting the sewers
  • Can provide a sewing machine for use at the production facility (not required)
  • Have not been in close contact with an individual who tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days.

If you are able to volunteer in this mask-making effort, you are asked to email

The health department says essential businesses can request masks for their employees through the Tompkins County Emergency Operations Center. 

If you can’t volunteer onsite, and want to make masks with your own materials, the health department wants you to follow the mask sewing technique described below.

Completed masks can be dropped off at the following locations:

  • Angelo Dry Cleaners and Laundry at 315 Meadow St., Ithaca
  • Alternatives Federal Credit Union at 125 North Fulton St., Ithaca
  • Cayuga Heights Village Hall at 836 Hanshaw Rd., Cayuga Heights
  • Dryden Town Hall at 93 East Main St., Dryden
  • Eddydale Farm Stand at 827 Elmira Rd., Ithaca
  • Homespun at 51 East Main St., Trumansburg
  • Lansing Town Hall at 29 Auburn Rd., Lansing
  • Littlestone Upholstery at 210 West State St., Ithaca
  • Tompkins Community Action (patio in back) at 701 Spencer Rd., Ithaca
  • Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce at 904 East Shore Dr., Ithaca

According to the Tompkins County Health Department, efforts will continue to expand mask availability to the general public as supplies become available.

The public is encouraged to make their own face covering with Governor Cuomo’s executive order to wear face coverings in public going into effect on Friday.

For guidance on how to make your own face covering, click here.

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