Encinitas Woman Collecting Respirators to Pass On to Healthcare Workers

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An Encinitas woman is doing what she can to give back during the coronavirus pandemic by donating personal protection equipment to nurses.

Usually N95 respirators are a requirement for most healthcare workers, but since the virus the CDC has asked for them to be used sparingly.

That’s left many nurses feeling uneasy, so Brittany Corrales is hoping to alleviate some of that stress.  

“I just started to see nurses in my community start to post to community forums,” said Corrales.

One post from a nurse practitioner said “we do not have access to regular surgical masks.”

A nurse from UCSD Health posted “We have pregnant nurses who are scared to go to work. We have nurses who are in their 60s scared to go to work without proper equipment.”

Due to an N95 respirator shortage, the CDC is asking for them to only be used in the most important situations.

This leaves nurses who usually wear them without them. So Corrales is collecting surgical masks and respirators herself and giving them to local nurses.

“If we could get behind saying we wouldn’t put our military out there without the right equipment and tools, we can get behind saying we’re not going to put our nurses and doctors and healthcare out there without the right tools,” said Corrales.

So far Corrales has collected about 50 masks from construction workers, researchers, and people who have overstocked on them.

“I feel like as a society, if we expect people to deal with crisis we have to support them,” says Corrales.

That thought isn’t lost on UCSD nurse Michael Kennedy.

“I’m delighted to hear about the outpouring of generosity from the community. I think it shows what a great community we live in in San Diego,” said Kennedy.

But he believes San Diegans shouldn’t be put in that position in the first place.

“It’s a shame that UCSD can’t provide us with what we need to do our jobs safely,” he said.

UCSD Health told NBC 7 they don’t have a PPE shortage and are following the CDC’s guidelines.

Corrales said nurses should be given whatever they need to feel safe in the fight against COVID-19.

“We have to put that ego aside and really just face what’s in front of us and that’s helping our healthcare professionals,” she said.

NBC 7 reached out to UCSD Health to find out how other people can get involved in donating some supplies to personnel here.

They say they are working on getting a collection site since so many people have come forward wanting to help.

We will let you know where/when that will take place.

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