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  • Writer's pictureBeltsville News

Route 1 Mask Match Connects Crafters With Those Who Need Masks (online exclusive)

Updated: Jun 26, 2020

With CDC encouraging the use of cloth masks while in public, local effort works to deliver

masks to vulnerable people in Prince George’s County’s Route 1 corridor

HYATTSVILLE, Maryland — A simple cloth mask is an effective tool in helping to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, but not everyone can make their own. Route 1 Mask Match ( is a local volunteer effort to get cloth masks into the hands of vulnerable people to help flatten the curve.

Route 1 Mask Match gives local crafters a way to put their skills to use helping vulnerable people and those who must interact with large populations in the Route 1 communities, from Mount Rainier to Beltsville.

“Seniors groups up and down the corridor have already placed immediate requests for more than 50 masks,” said Lissa Bell, one of the organizers of the effort. “There is a great need for volunteers in the area to make these simple masks that will help save lives.”

Route 1 Mask Match has established mask depots in Hyattsville and College Park with more depots to come, where crafters can safely drop off completed masks, spare fabric, and other mask-making supplies. All donated masks will be distributed to local vulnerable people in a way that respects social distancing and safe interactions.

For more information about the project, including information about making masks or to request a mask, visit and follow Route 1 Mask Match on Facebook. Priority for mask requests will go to seniors and other vulnerable people with health conditions and their caregivers, as well as grocery workers, health care providers, and other essential workers.

“There are many ongoing efforts to make cloth face masks to help flatten the curve,” said Bell, “Route 1 Mask Match is focused on the needs of those at risk in our local communities, as well as making sure people know how to properly wear and use their masks.”

The CDC now recommends that everyone wear cloth face masks while outside of the home together with social distancing techniques to slow the spread of the coronavirus and COVID-19, the disease it causes. As of April 7, the Maryland Department of Health reports more than 1,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Prince George’s County and 26 deaths. Cloth masks are effective because they reduce the risk of transmitting virus-carrying droplets, which can be spread long before a person realizes they are infected.

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