By Jenna Cocullo
Chatham-Kent is organizing a drive for standard medical equipment, after COVID-19 has stressed the supplies personal protective equipment (PPE).
Needed equipment includes: N-95 masks, surgical face masks, disposable gloves, medical goggles, face shields, hand sanitizer and cloth face masks.
“This is just standard medical equipment that’s used for many, many different kinds of things, not only COVID-19. So we suspect that there’s a fair amount of equipment that is usable and out there, and we’d like people to bring that to our attention for the common good,” said Dr. David Colby, medical officer of health.
The municipality is establishing a drop-off station for donations to be used for frontline health-care staff. The station will open at Thames Campus Arena April 15 from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Initial plans are to operate the station at that time each Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
“During a conversation with our health partners, we were told of the need to maximize the amount of PPE,” said Mayor Darrin Canniff. “We want to ensure that our health-care staff have the equipment they need to do their jobs and save lives so we are asking that Chatham-Kent residents who may have these items, or owners of businesses who have them and are not deemed essential, pitch in and help.”
Canniff said people are welcome to make masks, although they will not be used in the hospitals due to higher standards. The equipment will also be used in long-term care and retirement homes, home care, hospices and other organizations to assist with urgent needs.
“I would love to end up with a warehouse full of stuff that we never use than to look at an empty warehouse and say, ‘Boy, I wish we had more,’” Caniff said.
The donation procedure uses social distancing.
Donors are asked to bring their material inside the main front doors of the arena, place the donation on the table located in the ticket area and exit the building.
Staff will then take the donation, sort and store it for three days before passing it on to be distributed in the health care system through usual protocols.
A staff member must receive the donation. Any donations left outside at the building will be discarded due to unknown contamination. Product donated cannot be used or expired, and opened boxes or packages will not be accepted.
Further details on the equipment needed and how you can help can be found at https://www.chatham-kent.ca/News/Pages/Personal%20Protective%20Equipment%20(PPE)%20Drive.aspx