WISCONSIN (SPECTRUM NEWS) -- Health care workers and first responders face a critical shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) just as cases of Covid-19 are expected to spike in Wisconsin. Governor Tony Evers has requested thousands of items from the Strategic National Stockpile including 54,709 N95 respirators, 130,326 surgical masks, 24,816 face shields, 20,233 surgical gowns, 104 coveralls and 72,044 gloves. On Sunday, Evers said on Twitter that about half those supplies had arrived to Wisconsin and were being distributed to communities around the state.
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The Governor’s Office has launched a PPE program where companies and organizations can donate or sell large quantities of PPE to the State of Wisconsin. The state is in need of surgical gowns, face masks, gloves, Tyvek coveralls and thermometers. If organizations or businesses have fewer than 50 of any of these items, they should donate them to local health organizations instead of going through the buyback website.
Health care systems and municipalities have setup drop off sites around the state. Donors should only bring new and unused items and equipment. UW Health has a drop off location at the Park Street location in Madison. To view a list of most needed items, click here. Doctors say no donation is too small, and while hospital and clinics have supplies now, workers are concerned for what happens when coronavirus cases increase.
“If we had a big surge of patients we might use more than what we have, and we do know that the supply chain is pretty tight right now, and we don't want to run out, that's our biggest fear is running out of PPE.,” says Doctor Jeff Pothof, Chief Quality Officer for UW Health.
Dr. Pothof says the best way people can help healthcare workers is to stay home. He adds, blood donations are also a critical need right now as blood drives statewide have been canceled.
Volunteers from Bayfield to Beloit have been sewing masks for health care workers to use. Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin have provided template here. If you want to donate hand-sewn masks, check with your local hospital for all instructions and guidelines before you make a donation.
Here’s a list of PPE drop off sites and hours across Wisconsin:
Tommy G. Thompson Youth Center- 640 S. 84th St., West Allis
7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily until further notice
Click here for a list of items.
The City of Janeville is in need of N95 masks, surgical masks, isolation gowns and digital thermometers to supply to first responders and health care workers. Businesses and organization that have new items to donate should call the City's Emergency Operations Center at 608-373-6022.
Gunderson Health System
Locations in La Crosse, Boscobel, Friendship, Hillsboro, West Union and Whitehall
Click here for hours and needed items.
Froedtert & Medical College of Wisconsin
N86 W12999 Nightingale Way, Menomonee Falls, WI 53051 or 10000 W. Bluemound Rd., Wauwatosa, WI 53226
8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday
Click here for a list of items.
Children's Wisconsin Volunteer Services
999 N. 92nd St., Wauwatosa, WI 53226
9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday
Click here for a list of items and instructions on how to make homemade masks
Locations in Grand Chute, Darboy, Neenah, and Shawano
Questions regarding donations of any kind can emailed to Foundations@thedacare.org or call 920-738-6503
Click here for hours and a list of items
HSHS St. Vincent Hospital/Prevea Health
Cloth masks are now being accepted at the Prevea/HSHS Executive Offices at 2710 Executive Drive and outside the hospital on 1001 Porlier Street. Masks should be placed in a sealed, Ziploc bag and put inside the collection bin at each location. Donations will be accepted through Friday, April 10, 2020. To watch a tutorial, click here.
Contact Ascension Wisconsin's Foundation partners at AscensionWIFoundations@ascension.org
Needed supplies include isolation gowns, earloop or tie masks, N95 respirators, hand sanitizers, face shields, surface disinfectants, Powered Air Purifying Respirators (PAPR) and Controlled Air Purifying Respirators (CAPR)