Nursing homes across the state are running low on cloth gowns, according to Dan Clark, director of Iowa Prison Industries.
So the Fort Dodge Correctional Facility is doing something about it.
About 90 inmates there have been cutting the fabric needed for the gowns. By Monday, they are expected to start producing 1,000 gowns a day, Clark said.
“We have the textile production (at the FDCF),” Clark said. “Normally they make blue jeans, but since the virus they have been making gowns and masks. The need for gowns has become much greater and we have been asked to expand.”
But in order to drastically increase the number of gowns produced, the IPI is hoping to get some help from residents in the Fort Dodge area. Particularly residents who can sew.
The prison is teaming up with Iowa Central Community College to distribute the necessary materials and instructions for volunteers.
The inmates will continue to cut the sheets needed to make the gowns. They will just need to be sewn up.
The inmates will package the needed materials for home sewers.
Each bag will have 10 sheets of fabric in them with directions on how to sew the gowns. The volunteer sewer would then take the bag home and return the bag with 12 completed gowns. UnityPoint Health — Trinity Regional Medical Center will then wash and sanitize the gowns in their industrial laundry. Then the gowns will be transported by IPI to Camp Dodge in Des Moines for statewide distribution by the Iowa National Guard.
Volunteers can pick up the materials at the Career Education Building/Recreation Center on the Iowa Central Community College main campus using a drive-thru system.