REUSABLE face masks from the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) are now available at the South Gippsland Hospital Community Health Centre in Foster.
A washable black cloth mask will be given away free of charge to anybody who needs it and who may have had trouble obtaining one of their own.
A South Gippsland Hospital staff member wearing full personal protection equipment will be on duty to give out the masks between 11.30 am and 3 pm from Monday to Thursday until supplies run out.
Those who would like a reusable DHHS mask are asked to ring the Community Health Centre reception on 5683 9780 when they arrive at the Centre or to knock on the front door, and the staff member will pass the mask out to them.
The Hospital’s Director of Community Health, Samantha Park, said there are two styles of mask to choose from; a concertina design similar to those blue disposable masks used by medical staff, as well as a more tailored, face-shaped type.
Masks should be washed before use.
“We have received about 500 of these reusable masks so far from the DHHS, which is distributing 2.1 million reusable face masks through health organisations and local councils across the state to help slow the spread of COVID-19,” she said.
“We have already handed out about 300 of the masks to people attending the Health Centre’s various clinics and to those in our community nursing programs.
“Masks have also been mailed to those who take part in our Home Care Package and Social Support programs, while another 100 or so masks went to the acute ward at the Hospital and to the Foster Medical Centre for staff to issue,” Ms Park said.
“We still have a limited number of the masks here at the Community Health Centre at 87 Station Road, and any local person who would like a mask they can use again and again is welcome to come to the Centre and receive one, while stocks last.”
The DHHS has prepared a four-page brochure with detailed instructions on how to fit and wear a mask properly and how to wash and care for it, along with reminders to wash hands regularly, maintain social distancing and to stay home and be tested for COVID-19 if unwell.
A copy of the brochure is included with every DHHS mask.
The brochure also includes links to the DHHS website to access more about COVID-19 and how to stay safe and a pattern for home-made face masks.
For more information call the DHHS’s 24-hour Coronavirus (COVID-19) Hotline on 1800 675 398.