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County's PPE collection effort continues

Posted on 05/21/2020
County's PPE collection effort continues

Every day, the logistics section of the Weld County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) continues its work taking calls from health care agencies and first responders looking for masks, isolation and surgical gowns, vinyl and nitrile gloves and other forms of personal protective equipment (PPE) needed to protect themselves as they treat those impacted by COVID-19.

As part of that effort, in March, logistics began collecting PPE donations from different individuals and organizations throughout Weld County. Those donations, combined with more than $477,000 of PPE purchased by Weld County, has helped fulfill 318 resource requests for 117 agencies.

But demand remains high, and the PPE collection is continuing. There is a continued need for both masks and isolation gowns. These items can be new or homemade. In fact, homemade items following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), can be particularly valuable.

“Our biggest request is for long sleeve isolation and surgical gowns that are open in the back,” said Denise Bradshaw, Weld EOC Logistics Section Chief. “We’ll certainly accept packaged isolation gowns, but they are disposable. We are hoping to get some homemade cotton-polyester gowns because those can be washed and reused.”

Donating PPE may be as easy as saving an empty bottle of hand sanitizer or hand soap. OEM has secured a large supply of hand sanitizer in one-gallon containers but needs smaller containers to place the sanitizer in to fill resource requests. Anyone with empty four to six-ounce spray or travel bottles is asked to consider donating them.

Health care providers can also aid in the conservation of N95 masks as used ones can now be mailed to the Battelle Systems Decontamination System which has been installed in Adams County, Colorado. Battelle will decontaminate used masks from heath care facilities as long as they are not broken or torn and free of blood, mucus, lipstick or lip balm. This service is only available to health care providers who fill out an enrollment form at battelle.org/decon. OEM is continuing to look for other decontamination services as well.

“We are appreciative of every organization in our community that’s donated PPE,” Weld County Commissioner Chair Mike Freeman said. “We’re continually looking for ways to increase our PPE to assist those on the frontline, and the public’s continued donations will go a long way in protecting those in Weld County who are helping patients recover and bring an end to this virus.”

To donate, call the Office of Emergency Management at (970) 400-5172 or 5173 between the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday-Friday to arrange a time for your items to be picked up.