Volunteers are looking for a place to produce face masks that will be given out to assisted living facility residents.

Betty Shannon, owner of Somebody Loves Me Bridal in Rockland, said there are two things needed – a space to manufacture them and elastic.

The shortage of elastic came as a surprise to Shannon, who said she has tried unsuccessfully to get the material during the past week-and-a-half from the same suppliers she has used for 10 years in Rockland and before that in Arizona.

Because of that shortage, Shannon is putting out a plea to seamstresses, asking them to donate whatever they can spare.

These masks will not meet the specifications to be used by first responders or medical personnel, Shannon acknowledged but will offer some protection for older residents at assisted living facilities in the area.

In terms of a space, a place large enough to set up tables where people can set up their sewing machines and be 10-to-12 feet apart would be ideal. Shannon said she has been unable to find such a location.

"If push comes to shove we can operate like a cottage industry where people can make them in their own homes," she said.

She has a couple seamstresses already to work on the effort but the lack of elastic is preventing the work.

The pattern for the masks is simple, she said. The masks will be made of three-ply of polycotton which is a mix of cotton and artificial fibers.

Anyone who has elastic that they can donate or know of a location where the masks can be produced can contact Shannon at somebodylovesme@gmail.com or call her store at 596-5505.

The masks will be given out free of charge.

The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention issued the following advice on the use of home-made face masks for healthcare personnel.

"In settings where facemasks are not available, healthcare personnel might use homemade masks (e.g., bandana, scarf) for care of patients with COVID-19 as a last resort. However, homemade masks are not considered personal protection equipment, since their capability to protect HCP is unknown. Caution should be exercised when considering this option. Homemade masks should ideally be used in combination with a face shield that covers the entire front (that extends to the chin or below) and sides of the face."