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Local Hospitals Solicit Public Donations for Coronavirus Fight

Sharp Healthcare, UC San Diego Health both put out calls for assistance on Tuesday

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Local medical facilities on Tuesday reached out to the public, asking for San Diego County residents to contribute what they could in the fight against the looming coronavirus health crisis. On Wednesday, some generous locals answered the call and donated.

At 9 a.m., good Samaritans showed up at 4000 Ruffin Road to donate personal protective equipment (PPE) to Sharp Healthcare.

Sharp Healthcare starts its drive-thru donation drive on Wednesday. Those who wish to donate can visit any of the hospital's locations in San Diego, La Mesa, Coronado and Chula Vista between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 12-4 p.m. on Saturdays.

"We had a bunch of surgical masks that we had and we weren't going to use them," donor Rusty Runholt told NBC 7. "We kept one little package for ourselves at home just in case, but we figure these people need them a lot worse than we do."

"If you've got something, pass it on to somebody who can use it more than you, than you need it for," he said.

Equipment needed by Sharp Healthcare hospitals includes:

  • Disposable face masks
  • N95 masks, sometimes called respirators
  • Eye protection including face shields and safety goggles
  • Disposable gowns
  • Disposable gloves, especially non-latex
  • Disposable surgical caps
  • Disposable foot covers
  • Wipes: bleach or antimicrobial
  • Hand sanitizer (at least 60 percent alcohol)
  • Infrared thermometers

“You can drop off your donations at any of the locations listed and will not need to get out of your car,” Sharp officials said in their statement. ”Our staff will maintain a safe physical distance, and will wear gloves and regularly clean their hands. You will be asked to provide basic contact information and may request a receipt for your records.”

How to Help in San Diego County During the Coronavirus Pandemic: Find out what you can do to lend a hand during these difficult times.

UC San Diego Health launched a donation website on Tuesday to help those on the front lines in the fight against the novel coronavirus.

The COVID-19 pandemic has strained daily life across communities, countries and continents, but has particularly impacted the health care industry, according to a UC San Diego Health statement. County health officials have acknowledged some shortfalls on supplies, while other supplies have a deep reservoir from which to draw.

The county's public health officer, Dr. Wilma Wooten, told reporters last week that “there is a shortage of supply with gloves, gowns and goggles.'' Hospitals do have backup resources, but with fewer than 300 cases of the illness and city officials such as San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer admitting the “storm'' of this pandemic is yet to arrive, medical facilities are looking to shore up supplies of protective gear.

Through the website, UCSD Health is accepting donations of personal protective equipment, food and other items for caregivers and financial
contributions.

“UC San Diego Health has been at the forefront of the fight, both in treating patients and in developing a better understanding of the virus and how best to control its spread and consequences,'' hospital officials said in the statement. “While we are currently successfully managing PPE supplies as responsible stewards of our resources, we are asking all researchers and relevant facilities, individuals, organizations and communities to help by making key equipment and materials available to UC San Diego Health.''

Pitching in During the Pandemic: Stories of San Diegans Doing Good: Read more stories about San Diegans finding creative ways to lend support. Have you heard about a story we should share? Let us know

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