Mask donations sought for health care, first responders

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Mar. 24, 2020 12:01 am

QUINCY -- Donations of personal protection equipment are being sought to help support health care workers and first responders during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Health Department Administrator Jerrod Welch asked the public to consider donating surgical masks or N95 masks they might have to the Health Department.

"We've got a lot of doctors and nurses that are putting themselves out there to treat people to make sure those people are getting healthy," Welch said. "Those doctors, those nurses, also our ambulance crews, our police and firefighters, when they go and respond, they need to have some personal protective equipment."

Emily Andrews, health educator with the Health Department, said the personal protective equipment that is donated will be used for health care providers as well as first responders.

Providers said they are working to conserve the personal protective equipment they have.

Quincy Medical Group said like most health care organizations, it is struggling to meet the demands for personal protective equipment for health care workers.

"We are currently centralizing our supply management of all critical supplies (all masks, gloves, disinfectant solutions, gowns, goggles, and many more items), prioritizing needs, then distributing based upon highest level of need," QMG said. "We've also begun thinking creatively to help with the mask shortage by developing a group to design, sew, and manufacture fabric masks to increase our mask supply and assist our health care workers.

"Everyone is coming together to do their part to help with this crisis, and we couldn't be more proud of our team, but it will not be enough. PPE shortage is a national crisis that needs to be addressed."

Blessing Health System said it is using conservation techniques recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to make its supply of personal protective equipment as long as possible.

On Monday, Welch said donations were already coming in.

Anyone who has items that could be dropped off should contact the Health Department at 217-222-8440.