RN Jessica Olivier and Dr. Steve Knoble sport masks sewn for the mask drive. The basket Jessica is holding is full of masks which will be distributed to Onida Clinic visitors and patients.

The Facebook group Sully County COVID19 Mask Drive was created on April 15, and has to date collected and distributed more than 100 fabric facemasks personal protective equipment (PPE) to Onida Clinic patients and visitors.

Onida Clinic nurse Jessica Olivier reached out to Danielle Rausch about creating the Facebook group to solicit masks for the community. “We had a shortage of facemasks in the clinic, and we can’t order any through our suppliers,” said Jessica. “They’re all on back order, and we don’t know when we’ll get facemasks in.” She says that when it became apparent masks wouldn’t be available through the usual sources, “we needed to do something to make sure patients and we are covered if we’re exposed.” Without the PPE, the staff would have to self-quarantine, and “we’d have to close the clinic.”

Her proactive approach to securing the PPE proved fortuitous; a week after the Facebook group was established, Rural Health Care Inc began requiring everyone who enters the clinic wear a mask.

Read the Rest of the Story in The Onida Watchman! Single copies are $1.00 each and available at the Watchman office, 106 S Main, Onida, and at The Corner, Don’s Food Center, and Vilas Healthcare in Onida, the Medicine Creek and The Junction in Blunt, and at Dakotamart in Pierre. Subscriptions are $36 in Sully, Hughes, Potter, Stanley and Hyde Counties and for people in armed forces; $38 elsewhere in SD; $40 out-of-state; $1 single issue; $36 E-Subscription; or plus $12 to print subscribers.