SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — Amid the coronavirus pandemic, personal protection equipment is hard to come by, especially N95 face masks. Now, Rock Church volunteers are helping bring back to life 300,000 expired masks that San Diego County had in storage.
The thousands of masks were beyond their manufacturer's recommended date and needed new bands to secure them. The Center for Disease Control approved the use of N95 respirators beyond the manufacturer's recommended date because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The respirators on the masks still work and meet the CDC requirements for usage, and as long as they are not physically damaged, they are good to use.
The CDC has approved their use if they are not physically damaged, but respirators have bands that hold them to the face that are brittle and break when used.
What volunteers with the Rock Church are helping with is retrofitting each respirator with bands that are stapled in place. The elastic being replaced is being provided by the County of San Diego's Medical Operations Center.
In order to volunteer, one must be over the age of 18. Each person will be vetted and be required to take a health screening.
To find out more, and to see if you qualify to be a volunteer, click here.
Each volunteer will have access to latex gloves if they desire to wear them, and will be assigned to a table that will be at least six feet apart from any other volunteer (this includes family members). No one under the age off 18 will be allowed to volunteer.