Project Overview

The severe spread of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has created a global surge in demand for personal protective equipment (PPE), with emphasis on surgical masks and N95 respirators.In response to the limited supply of PPE a group of volunteers, healthcare professionals, and industry experts created a project team with the intention to manufacture homemade face coverings for community members in need. The team selected” Flatten the Curve Handmade Masks” (FTC Masks) as their project title.

Project Goal

Phase 1 (Pilot)

To increase the availability of homemade cloth face masks to at-risk individuals, medical clinics, hospices, mental health homes,  women's shelters, and home support agencies in Vancouver by manufacturing and distributing two thousand (2,000) masks by May 15, 2020. We anticipate recruiting fifty (50) sewing volunteers for this project.

Phase 2

Given the success of Phase 1 (Pilot), FTC Masks has expanded its program to Metro Vancouver, and our goal is to distribute an additional 3,200 masks to agencies in need by December 31, 2020.

FTC has an agreement with Immigrant Services Society of British Columbia to distribute 600 masks to newcomers.

Phase 3

Support the roll-out and replication of the project to other communities across British Columbia.


Given the challenges in maintaining PPE supply during the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of homemade and/or cloth masks in public is a topic of much discussion. The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has released a statement that Canadians are recommended to use non-medical masks in tandem with physical distancing, hand hygiene, and other measures to limit the transmission of COVID-19 2 In addition, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has specified that wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.

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