WAUSAU – North Central Health Care has launched the Face Mask Project to provide cloth face masks to residents, clients, patients and families of Mount View Care Center, Pine Crest Nursing Home, developmental disabilities and mental and behavioral health programs in central Wisconsin.

The project’s goal is to complete and distribute 5,000 face masks.

“We care for a vulnerable population at NCHC who are at a greater risk of poor health outcomes if they contract COVID-19,” said Jessica Meadows, communications and marketing director, in a news release. “When family and friends are able to come back to visit loved ones in our facilities in the future, we will require a face covering or face mask to cover their nose and mouth, in addition to screening and hand hygiene requirements. Providing those we serve and visitors with education and access to washable and reusable face coverings will help slow the spread of COVID-19.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the Covid-19 virus and recommend that simple face coverings be worn in public settings where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. Face coverings help people who may have the virus and not know it from transmitting it to others.

How to help

The public can participate in the program by donating supplies and/or sewing masks.

All donated supplies, including materials, elastic or hair ties, will be prepared and packaged into kits.

Those who volunteer to sew in their home will be able to pick up a kit and finish sewing the masks.

The masks will then be returned to NCHC, laundered and distributed. There is no charge to participate or to receive a face mask.

Visit the NCHC Face Mask Project page at https://www.norcen.org/FaceMasks

Those interested in participating can visit the NCHC Face Mask Project webpage, or contact NCHC Volunteer Services at 715.848.4450 or volunteer@norcen.org. Donations can be dropped off at multiple locations in Wausau, Merrill, Antigo and Tomahawk. People who want to make a monetary donation to purchase supplies should contact NCHC Volunteer Services.