CoverAID PHL responding to appeal beyond hospitals for protective gear

UNIVERSITY CITY (WPVI) -- Philadelphia's history of invention is alive during the COVID-19 crisis.

Its modern-day Ben Franklins, inventors and tech makers, continue working to bridge the gap in protective gear for healthcare workers.

One of the biggest groups, CoverAid PHL, is a task force of 169 business leaders, entrepreneurs, manufacturers, fashion designers, product developers, and ordinary citizens.

So far, it has made thousands of face shields and fabric masks for hospitals. But organizers say the need has gone beyond the hospitals.

"These are things like social services, nursing homes, homeless shelters, food distribution, food production, and transportation and logistics - all these people risking themselves as well," says Evan Malone of NextFab, a premier maker space with outlets around the area.

The SewFaceMasksPhiladelphia coalition of fashion community members includes over 200 volunteer sewers.

In its first month of existence, it made over 3,700 fabric masks for facilities around the area.

"It's been used by food service, nursing home workers, and healthcare administrators," said Elissa Bloom, designated by the city to form the task force.

"We have all ages, from people in their 20s, people in their 70s, men and women," says Bloom.

"It has also created community for our sewers," she adds. "So we have weekly Zoom calls with them, there's been many friendships that have formed, it's very chathartic for the sewers and our team leaders."

CoverAid PHL also hopes to design & make new breathing machines in the near future.

It's now in need of donations of materials and money.
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