CONNECTICUT, USA — With COVID-19 cases continuing to surge and hospitals running into a shortage of personal protective equipment, hospitals are asking for your help in donating supplies.
"There’s a nationwide shortage of masks," says Dr. Paul Porter, the Chief Medical Officer at St. Mary's Hospital. "We’re okay for now, but the surge is coming in a couple of weeks and we expect we will be short."
We rely on our healthcare providers, and now, they are asking for our help in return.
"We need gloves," says Dr. Ajay Kumar, Hartford HealthCare's Chief Clinical Officer. "We need gloves, face shields and other [supplies]. The gloves are certainly a challenge right now because they’re made in China."
Some companies and individuals have already stepped up and offered supplies and monetary donations to Hartford Health Care like OK Industries, Stanley Black and Decker, Foxwoods, Harbor Freight, Arnold Chase, Connecticare, and Amphenol.
They are doing their part to ensure everyone at Hartford Health Care will get a surgical or n-95 mask when they are working. But with 12,000 to 15,000 masks being used a day at Hartford Healthcare alone, more donations are needed across the state.
"We’re looking for donations from our community and from anybody who has them to keep supplying us with those masks so we can continue to offer appropriate PPE for our employees," says Nancy LaMonica, Bristol Health's Director of Surgical Services.
Hospitals are asking for unopened boxes of n-95 masks, surgical masks, gloves, and gowns.
"The people that tend to have these things are painters, contractors, painting stores, construction sites, [and] some of our industrial sites," says Dr. Porter.
Most hospitals are following Centers for Disease Control guidelines in reusing masks up to 5 times. But they are still fighting to strike a balance between supply and demand.
With community help, hospitals say they are mentally ready for a surge in cases.
"Be of good cheer," says Dr. Porter. "We’ve been through worse as a country and will be running back in not too long of a time."
The Connecticut Hospital Association is asking dental offices, veterinary clinics, and construction companies who may have supplies and respirators to donate them to hospitals.
To find out where and how to donate you can call the state's information line at 2-1-1. Here is a list of hospitals and their websites to donate to your community directly.
UCONN health — https://health.uconn.edu/coronavirus/ppe-donations/
Hartford Hospital— https://hartfordhealthcare.org/donate
Yale-New Haven Health— https://www.givetoynhh.org/
Waterbury Hospital— https://www.waterburyhospital.org/coronavirus/