The Grays Harbor Community Hospital Foundation sent out a public plea for help meeting demand for personal protective equipment this weekend.
“Our Community Hospital is currently at critical levels of items such as N-95 masks, surgical masks, gloves, Caviwipes (antiviral cleaning wipes), isolation gowns, goggles, and face shields,” a letter signed by the foundation’s board reads. “Should Grays Harbor get the outbreak of COVID-19 that projections say is possible, Grays Harbor Community Hospital will run out of PPE without assistance.”
The letter states that donations to the Aberdeen hospital would be tax deductible.
“The Grays Harbor Community Hospital Foundation is asking our neighbors to please help wherever they can. If you or your business has any unopened supplies from the list above, we ask that you donate them to the hospital,” the letter continues. “Organizations such as dental offices, construction firms, veterinarians, and agriculture utilize this type of equipment. If you or someone you know has access to this equipment, we can use your help.”
Chris Major, the director of marketing and public relations at Community Hospital, says the community has been stepping up.
“We have had a tremendous outpouring of support from the community,” he said. “At this time our nursing, infection control, cardiopulmonary and surgical departments are working together to test the effectiveness of homemade mask patterns and materials. We hope to release guidance later this week via social media for community members who want to help. It has been absolutely amazing and heartening to see all the support.”
140 beds at Community Hospital
Community Hospital’s concern right now isn’t lack of bed space. They have 140 beds, with 10 ventilators on hand and another nine temporary ventilators that they have access to.
“The biggest concern for us is having enough staff to safely and properly care for that many patients,” he added.
Many social media groups have started making masks to donate. However, it is unclear if area hospitals can use those masks. A spokesperson for Community Hospital said it would review potential uses for donations this week.
Summit Pacific Medical Center in Elma also is in need of personal protective gear.
“Summit Pacific needs any supplies that our health care or industry partners can share,” Tammy Moore, chief clinical officer, said.
SPMC recently posted that they had received a donation of protective masks.
“Thank you Elma Family Dental for donating your surplus to us. It’s incredible to see our community come together,” a post on Facebook reads.
Inmates will sew gowns
Department of Corrections’ Correctional Industries said Saturday that it would begin producing protective gowns in an effort to help mitigate the shortfall expected from a coronavirus outbreak escalation.
A release from the DOC says that they have “developed an approved prototype and expects to start production in the coming days at its textiles shop located at the Coyote Ridge Corrections Center (CRCC) in Connell, Washington. CI will then expand production to textiles shops at Airway Heights Corrections Center (AHCC), Clallam Bay Corrections Center (CBCC) and Washington Corrections Center (WCC).”
Correctional Industries expects to make up to 6,000 gowns per day and will work with the state Emergency Operations Center on distribution of the gowns.
“I’m proud our CI team can contribute to the COVID-19 response in such a meaningful way,” said Corrections Secretary Stephen Sinclair. “When we learned of the national shortage of protective gowns, CI sprang into action to develop a prototype to begin manufacturing these gowns. I’m proud of their ingenuity and quick action.”
Each correctional facility in the state has inmates working with Correctional Industries. They employ about 2,400 people.