The Athens City-County Health Department is seeking donations of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for essential medical workers.

With the spread of COVID-19 across the state, medical facilities and EMS workers have increased their usage of PPE’s. This has lead to a shortage of the essential safety equipment, which leaves medical staff and patients vulnerable to infection and disease.

“If you have any PPE, (N95 or other medical masks, exam gloves, new protective goggles, or medical gowns), please contact the Athens County Health Department,” Athens City-County Health Department Administrator Jack Pepper said in a statement. “The items donated will be accounted for and replenished as supplies allow to do so.”

The donation process, as detailed by the health department is as follows:

1. Call the health department at 740-592-4431, press 0 for an operator.

2. Explain to a staff member that you have PPE you’d like to donate. Be prepared to detail exactly which items you will be donating, the quantity or items, location from which they were received, and contact information for the donation site.

3. Donated items should be delivered in clean plastic sealable bags.

4. Arrange a meeting with health department staff for drop off and please try to be one time for your scheduled appointment. If you are unable to make your appointment or will be late, please call ahead. The health department is staggering drop-off times and do not more than one person dropping off items at a time.

Lastly Pepper’s statement requests that people communicate to others that there is a need for PPE’s.

The need to conserve PPE’s lead Gov. Mike DeWine to mandate that all non-essential surgical procedures be canceled, the order was given during DeWine’s press conference on March 17.

During DeWine’s conference on Tuesday, he once again spoke of the importance of PPE’s, encouraging anyone with PPE’s to donate them for medical professionals. He also encouraged dentists and veterinarians to stop non-essential procedures and to donate any access PPE’s.

According to DeWine, it takes 36 pairs of gloves to care for one patient in the ICU for 24 hours. Currently DeWine says the state is working on sending PPE’s to each health department, though he warns that the supply will not be enough.

“Our commitment is get them the equipment as soon as we can,” DeWine said.

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