Good intentions will be tempered with caution after a Shuswap resident who has been making hand-made face masks available for donation was allegedly taken advantage of.
The resident, who asked to remain anonymous for safety concerns, said they had been approached by someone claiming to be employed with Interior Health who asked for 30 masks, taking them without providing a donation. The resident said those masks were later being sold publicly online for $10 apiece.
Later, the resident learned the same thing happened to another person who provided 200 masks that wound up being sold online. Again, the person who took the masks claimed to be with Interior Health, stating the masks were for the elderly in care homes.
“I’ve been (making masks) for six weeks since the virus was announced,” the resident told the Observer on Monday, April 27, stating they have made more than 300 masks. The donations collected go towards the purchase fabric and materials to make more.
The resident said they hadn’t yet reported the incident to police as the person who took the masks only offered their first name. However, the resident has been warning others on social media.
Interior Health confirms they are not currently soliciting homemade personal protective equipment (PPE), including masks, from private individuals for use in its facilities.
On April 5, the health authority issued a statement explaining that while it is grateful for offers of homemade items including PPE, due to strict safety standards and to minimize risks to health-care staff, it is not accepting any at this time.
Discouraged by the incident, the resident said from now on they would be asking the identification of those wanting masks.