MONTREAL -- Doctors at the Lakeshore General Hospital are making their own masks in hopes of stemming the spread of COVID-19.

Maria Arrieta, a doctor at the hospital, said she hopes to see more Quebecers wearing masks, not as a means to protect themselves from infection, but to protect others.

“The point of the mask is simply to block when you talk, having your droplets enter the environment and by doing that you keep your droplets to yourself,” she said. “We need to act as if we're all potentially infected.”

With hospitals around North America struggling to get enough supplies, doctors at the hospital recruited volunteers to make masks at home.

“They have a little pouch to put a filter in that you can change,” said volunteer Diane Jobin. “They look complicated but they're really quite easy to do.”

Jobin is using her time in self-isolation to make 40 to 50 masks and while she's just one of several volunteers, doctors said more are needed.

“Starting off, it would be great to hit 1,000 masks, that would be great, but we could do with more,” said Nessrine Sabri.

Montrealers interested in volunteering or donating fabric can email

On Friday, the American Center For Disease Control recommended everyone going out in public wear a mask but Quebec public health director Horacio Arruda said masks should be reserved for professionals.

“In Quebec, the priority is to keep the masks for the health care system and essential services,” he said. “Don't think the mask is a solution. Handwashing, good hygine is the best thing to do.”