Do you have face masks, protective gloves, goggles, or gowns?
Donate it, urges a Toronto doctor — because hospitals could face a supply shortage within weeks.
Hospitals urgently need these supplies to fight COVID-19, says Dr. Michael Warner, medical director of critical care at Toronto's Michael Garron Hospital.
He's encouraging anyone from tattoo parlours to construction workers to donate their supplies, by starting a new personal protective equipment drive at Toronto's Michael Garron Hospital.
Starting Monday morning, people can drop off their unused, unexpired supplies between 7:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
"There's no more important issue in Canada right now" than getting and distributing these supplies to healthcare workers, Warner said.
Tattoo parlours, labs, drywallers could have supplies
Tattoo parlours, nail salons, dental, veterinary and cosmetic surgery clinics could all have these supplies, he said.
The construction industry is a "huge source" of personal protective equipment, said Warner, pointing to drywallers and woodworkers.
Private and government labs could also have some on hand, he said, as well as Ontario Power Generation.
"This is out there in society," said Warner. "We need to gather it and distribute it to the places that need it."
Not exciting supplies, but 'fundamental'
Warner started this website for a supply drive with the vision of other hospitals joining on.
Gloves and masks aren't elaborate or exciting equipment, said Warner, but they are "fundamental to care."
Healthcare workers can't even assess people for COVID-19 — let alone treat them — without every piece of this equipment. If anything is missing, he said, they can't wear any of it.
Everybody who interacts with a COVID-19 patient — from a doctor to the people who delivers food — has to wear this equipment.
Hospitals could 'burn through' equipment
"If we get a significant number of patients with COVID-19, we are going to burn through this equipment so quickly that we will probably need all factories in Canada that are able to be producing this just to meet the demand," said Warner.
Ontario has made announcements about buying new ventilators and getting factories to produce equipment, said Warner, but "we need some way to bridge the gap" between now and then.
Drive runs Monday-Friday
The drive runs from Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Details about the specific supplies needed are on the personal protective equipment drive website.
Your ID will be checked when dropping off supplies, and you are encouraged to bring a business card if you have one.
"This is a great way for people to do their part to help up help them."
If other hospitals are interested in participating, Warner said he can easily add them to their website.
They are also happy to redistribute the equipment they collected to the places most need, he said.