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A Stitch in Time Saves Lives

March 30, 2020

By Tim Kelly

DOC Communications

(Tim Kelly, DOC Communications)

The Coyote Ridge Corrections Center textiles factory is typically producing 1,800 to 2,000 clothing garments a week. They are still making garments but now are producing over 500 protective gowns a day and have the hope of making 2,100 gowns a day.

Roger Hewitt, the textiles supervisor at the facility, was happy to help. “It’s kind of a nice feeling to be able to give back, especially in this time of need,” said Hewitt.

The State Emergency Operations Center asked if the Washington Department of Corrections could help provide relief in the current Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) shortage due to COVID-19. The opportunity went to the textiles team at Coyote Ridge and is now expanding to other facilities for supplying help.

Brian Burke, one of the Correctional Industries workers at Coyote Ridge, was asked to make the pattern for the gowns. “My daughter was extremely pleased. She’s like ‘there are so many people who are in dire emergency for it, the fact that you have a part in this, you should be proud of yourself,’” Burke said.

Corrections is committed to its community, a key value of the department. Everyone involved has been working hard to follow the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) COVID-19 guidelines, including social distancing, while continuing to produce high quality products.