In an effort to battle COVID-19, Tampa Parks and Recreation staff members are diligently sewing face masks and have produced approximately 600 masks to date. A team of 13 Recreation Division staff, as well as 2 senior volunteers from the Recreation programs, are participating in the sewing project.
The masks are made using CDC guidelines and each one comes with a filter to be installed by the recipient. The use of cloth masks such as these, are recommended by the CDC for the general public to slow the spread of the virus and prevent those who are asymptomatic from transmitting it to others.
“While city parks may be closed, our incredible Parks & Rec staff is still working hard to find ways they can help our community,” says Mayor Jane Castor. “Right now, we need to do all we can to protect Tampa and stop the spread of COVID-19. And one way we can do that, is by wearing face coverings. Homemade face masks like these will offer an added layer of protection and could make all the difference between staying safe or spreading the virus to someone who may not be able to recover. I am so proud of our employees who are diligently sewing these masks and working together to flatten the curve.”
The initial effort was to sew 450 masks for Parks and Recreation Department staff, as well as some for healthcare workers who could use the masks over their N95 respirators and surgical masks as an added protection. Having surpassed this goal, the sewing team plans to continue operations.
Currently, the Recreation Division is averaging sewing 100 masks per day for distribution to all City of Tampa employees and some of the heroic medical professionals in our community. An estimated 500 masks will be made each week and production will continue as long as needed.