As hospitals across the country wait to see where the coronavirus pandemic will lead their communities, residents may help by donating new or unused protective medical gear to Northern Inyo Healthcare District.
Healthcare District leaders say while there is a sufficient amount of critical personal protective equipment, or PPE, for use by frontline medical staff for the next 10 or more days, the concern rests with any potential surge in patients. Among the equipment most needed are N95 masks, sometimes called respirators; eye protection including face shields and safety goggles; disposable gowns; disposable gloves, especially non-latex in medium and large sizes; and disposable shoe covers.
Any person or business who can contribute aid may do so by contacting NIHD’s Infection Preventionist Robin Christensen, RN BSN HIC, at (760) 873-5811 ext. 3490 to arrange for drop off. Donations are accepted Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Parking lot drop-offs are available by phoning ahead.
NIHD extends its gratitude to those who already made similar gifts to the Healthcare District. Christensen said donations have ranged from small bags of three to four N95 masks found in garages and homes to larger donations of N95 masks by local contractors and businesses.
“NIHD is grateful for the demonstration of support and graciousness at this time,” said Kelli Davis, Interim Chief Executive Officer for NIHD. “Nationwide shortages of PPE have given us all moments of pause, but our local communities continue to show great resourcefulness and in doing so humble us with their compassion and concern for our medical staff.”
NIHD is currently reviewing methods for sterilizing N95 masks for reuse under recently issued Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.