VSU students, faculty making face masks for those in need

Updated: Apr. 10, 2020 at 3:50 PM EDT
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VSU faculty and students are making face masks for those in need.
VSU faculty and students are making face masks for those in need.(Valdosta State University)

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - With loads of time on their hands, many people are trying to figure out how to stay busy and productive amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Faculty and students at Valdosta State University have found a way to help save lives with their quarantine free time.

Faculty and staff are creating highly-demanded face masks for healthcare workers, first responders and high-risk individuals.

“I hear ambulances and things like that and police sirens all the time and I know that they’re out there and they are on this frontline helping people, they are protecting our streets and it is important to keep them safe,” Chalise Ludlow, VSU assistant professor and costume designer, said.

Ludlow, and her two students Joi Pitts and Kathalina Thorpe are making the masks free of charge, shipping hundreds to a cancer ward in Kansas and currently making 150 for the Valdosta Police Department (VPD).

“I just finished it, I just put the wire in the nose, then you turn it inside out through the pocket that was created and either some of them have pocket in the bottom, some have them in the side, but that pocket is then for us to be able to put these filters we’ve cut for people,” Pitts said. “The filtration level has a 1500 micro-performance rating, which means it’s supposed to block all of these things listed, this is one of the higher-end ones, these filters cost $15 apiece.”

They then unplate the filter sheet to stretch it for twice the amount, allowing them to create 50 filters.

“The way that you put it on, you make sure that the pointier part of the mask lines up with your nose like this,” Thorpe said.

The masks are only for ages 2 and up.

The group plans to make more for whoever is in need after their current orders are complete.

“This is all for free, we just want to keep you safe and so it will not stop after VPD, it’s just getting started and we will make them until the need is done,” Ludlow said.

Each mask takes about five to 15 minutes to make depending on your level of expertise.

The group has received a lot of donations, from fabric to monetary.

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