All over the district, schools and businesses have changed the uses of science labs and factories to produce Personal Protection Equipment. Crossley Heath, Ryburn and Brooksbank are amongst schools providing masks to Calderdale Royal Hospital and local care homes.

A bespoke tailoring firm in Huddersfield changed the line of speciality from suits to masks to keep the employees and suppliers in paid work. Helen Bailey, Managing Director of Masks UK, explained‘Business slowed down rapidly long before the UK hit lockdown due to our international clients closing down tailoring shops around the world and, of course, suit clients here in the UK, only attending essential appointments. It took a couple of weeks from idea to going live online. I guess we just looked at what we had at our finger tips and went from there. The response has been incredible!’

Helen’s non-medical mask business is super popular online. Helen explained ‘We’ve delivered to some existing clients in Norway and various tailoring connections around the World. We had an Australian purchase on the website, that’s as far a field we can go!! It’s an ever growing number but I’d say we’re close to 500k masks so far (12th May 20). The masks use a fabric commonly used in sportswear: the outer layer uses cotton nanotechnology for ultra water resistance, and the inner layers are breathable and moisture-wicking cotton muslin cloth.

Using a re-usable mask helps to reduce the volume of medical masks being used by non-medical people. There are many patterns online for you to try making your own (see one below). The World Health Organisation states (31/05/2020) ‘there is not enough evidence for or against the use of masks (medical or other) in healthy individuals in the wider community’.

However, if you choose to use a mask, here are the main precautions to follow:
1. Clean your hands before touching your clean mask.
2. Position the mask so it covers your nose, mouth and chin.
3. Do not touch the main mask while you are wearing it.
4. After use, take off the mask with clean hands; removing by the ties. Do not touch the main mask on either side.
5. Wash the mask at a high temperature.
6. Clean hands after touching the mask.