Florida inmates sew face masks for local hospitals

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Inmates at a Florida detention center are crafting face masks for local hospitals on donated sewing machines amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a local report.

Four women incarcerated at the Hernando County Detention Center in Brooksville made more than 130 masks on their first day, Fox 13 reported this week.

"To see the inmates smile as they developed extreme pride and ownership of the project from a deputy's perspective while giving back to the community is a great gift," Lt. Teresa Stevens told the station.

Masks and other personal protective equipment amid the coronavirus crisis have been in steep demand for hospital workers and first responders as the potentially deadly virus continues to spread.

To help deal with the shortage, individuals and manufacturers across the country have been stepping up production.

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell on Friday announced that his company would start making masks after converting a 200,000-square-foot pillow factory into a facility capable of turning out more than 10,000 masks a day. And he said he was working on converting additional factories in four states.

“That’s what we do at MyPillow,” he told Fox News’ Ed Henry.

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Eclipse International, a New Jersey mattress company, is also creating masks. So is the Denver Mattress Co., according to the Denver Post, which reported that the same material used in masks is also used in mattresses.

The nationwide push comes as infections continue to mount. More than 115,000 cases had been confirmed in the U.S. as of Saturday evening.

In Florida alone, there were more than 3,500 coronavirus cases.

Many people in Florida have ties to New York, which has by far the most cases out of any U.S. state so far, more than 50,000. And President Trump on Saturday said he had spoken to Govs. Ron DeSantis and Andrew Cuomo of Florida and New York, respectively, about travelers flying between the two states amid the crisis as he mulled and eventually declined to force a quarantine on his home state.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) eventually issued a travel advisory on New York and two of its neighbors, New Jersey and Connecticut, urging people in those states to refrain from nonessential domestic travel for the next 14 days.

Fox News’ Adam Shaw and Julia Musto contributed to this report.