Web Extra

by Charlie Powell, Public Information Officer, charlie_powell@wsu.edu

Washington State University’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital needs basic cloth masks to act as barriers and help conserve N95 masks and other personal protective equipment.

“We want to use these masks to protect our doctors and staff when they must work together closely,” said hospital director Debra Sellon, who is also an equine internal medicine specialist.  “It is very common that we need to have three or more people within one to two feet of each other as we work with small animals and perform life-saving procedures. These masks will block droplet transmission if someone on the team is an asymptomatic carrier and help conserve our supply of N95 masks.”

Dr. Sellon is suggesting people interested in sewing masks use one of these resources from Pullman Regional Hospital, the New York Times, or a DIY mask tutorial for instructions on how to sew them properly.  The college will launder and reuse the cloth masks in their in-house laundry each day.

She also stressed making a variety of styles to suit her employees’ personal choice for fit of the masks.

“Ideally, if the wonderful volunteers out there making masks could eventually provide us with 300 to 400, that would likely get us through this crisis, conserve our PPE, and therefore also conserve the PPE for human healthcare as well.”

Those who give masks are asked to please leave them in the bin at the entrance of the hospital and call (509) 335-0711 when you do. Masks can also be mailed to: Washington State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital, 205 Ott Road, Pullman, WA 99164.

Considered by the Washington as an essential service, the WSU veterinary hospital is the largest veterinary referral center in the Pacific Northwest.  They remain open only for emergencies and critical care which brings numerous veterinary patients in each day.  More than 100 people are still necessary for the hospital to function everyday Monday through Friday during regular business hours.