Local health care facilities and emergency responders are seeking donations of personal protective equipment due to a national shortage during the COVID-19 crisis.
Mercer Health officials are welcoming donations of unopened PPE, along with fabric masks made by community members, according to a news release.
"Orders for standard disposable masks are on long back orders across the nation due to both increased demand and supply chain issues," the release states. "Hospitals across the country are reporting the same supply concerns and are also making additions to their disaster plan. Donated fabric masks will ensure masks are readily available in the event that our current supply is diminished."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says "fabric masks are a crisis response option when other supplies have been exhausted," according to the release. "All collected masks will be immediately sent to laundry/processing to be prepared for use. Surplus masks will be distributed to other local organizations in need."
Mercer Health officials ask volunteers to follow the instructions at the following websites when making masks to ensure they can be used by personnel:
• N-95 Mask Cover - promedicahealthconnect.org/media/N-95-Mask-Cover-Instructions-and-Photos.pdf.
• N-95 Mask Cover - promedicahealthconnect.org/media/N-95-Mask-Cover-Diagram-Only.pdf.
The following considerations also are recommended:
• Use 100% cotton tightly woven fabric.
• Make masks in non-smoking homes only.
• Remember both men and women will be using the masks.
• Cloth ties may be used instead of elastic.
• Water repellent fabric is not required.
• People should not make masks if they are ill.
Donation collection at Mercer Health is scheduled for noon-4 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at Mercer Health West Campus, 830 W. Main St., Coldwater, located west of Mercer County Community Hospital. People are asked to drop all donated items in the collection bins located just inside the main front doors to the left. People should not enter the building at this time.
Those unable to leave their homes to drop off donated items or who have questions or concerns can email Karen Perts at email@example.com.
Mercer Health will provide any needed supplies to make masks to those who want to help but need the materials. Bags including fabric, elastic and the pattern and sewing instructions are available to anyone in the community. To get a bag of supplies, people can,
• pick up a bag at Mercer Health West Campus - at the same location where completed masks can be dropped off.
• call Perts at 419-733-4069 and she will make arrangements to drop off a bag of supplies at the donor's home. The supplies will be left outside of the door to avoid contact. Volunteers then can call Perts when the masks are done and she will pick them up.
Officials encourage volunteers to share photos of themselves making masks on social media to build community spirit. People are asked to tag Mercer Health and use #ThisIsMyHospital with the photos or send Mercer Health the photos in a private message or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mercer County health officials are seeking donations of personal protective equipment to support first responders and critical operations occurring in response to the pandemic, according to a district news release.
Officials are encouraging medical practices, such as veterinary clinics, dentists and non-essential businesses, to donate surplus PPE.
To donate, people can call 419-586-6468 to schedule a dropoff. Donated items can be dropped off at the Mercer County Emergency Management Agency, 321 Riley St., Celina, by appointment only.
Unopened boxes of the following items will be accepted: N95 masks, surgical masks, gowns, eye protection, face shields, nitrile gloves, disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer.
Briarwood Village officials are keeping an eye on their personal protective equipment inventory and working with their parent company, HCF Management Inc., to ensure they are prepared for the COVID-19 outbreak.
Officials are working with other HCF facilities and redistributing PPE as needed, according to a news release. They are updated weekly on orders being placed and are in regular communication with vendors to secure future supplies.
"In addition, our leadership team is preparing consistent protocols for the use of non-traditional PPE supplies, such as homemade masks, should we need to utilize them," according the release. "We cannot beat this virus alone, that is why our state association and local EMA is calling for everyone to assist, including partners like other industries who may have PPE, and the public, to do everything they can to assist us at this time."
"We want to assure those we serve and their loved ones that the health and well-being of our residents is our top concern," Briarwood Executive Director Ryan Douglas said in the release. "Our organization is experienced in dealing with communicable diseases, and our team of experts have been educated on infection control policies and procedures."