Business donating masks, gloves to Barrie’s Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre to overcome COVID-19 pandemic shortages

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

Barrie’s construction industry has rallied to donate masks and gloves after a call from Barrie’s Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre Foundation (RVH) for help with supplies to facilitate COVID-19 screening and treatment, reflecting a general call in many cities for contractors to donate their personal protective supplies to their hospitals help deal with the pandemic.

The hospital’s request was circulated by the Barrie Construction Association last week, to tremendous community response.

“I already have boxes of masks and gloves dropped off here to the BCA office,” said Alison Smith, BCA executive director. “Other members have informed me that they have orders in for these items and will notify RVH when they come in.

So far, the following businesses have responded:

  • C. Georges Electrical
  • Duivenvoorden Haulage
  • Element Environmental Contracting
  • Georgian College

– Healthcare Faculty

  • Quinan Construction
  • Rockbrune Movers
  • Rona
  • Sunbelt Rentals
  • Ultimate Construction
  • Western Mechanical

Notably, the US government has waived requirements to allow the major North American manufacturer of N-95 masks, commonly used in construction where dust particles present an occupational hazard, to provide its non-medical supplies (about 95 per cent of its production) for the health care community.

In the US, several hospitals have added their organizations to a crowdsource list of institutions seeking PPE donations, reflecting the increasingly serious supply shortage for face masks, gloves, and ventilators.

RVH Foundation CEO Eric Dean said the health centre team “is working hard to manage an unprecedented demand for screening, assessment and patient care for COVID-19 in our community.”

“The need for personal protective masks and gloves is stretching our supply chain and we are reaching out to businesses in our area who may be able to help us bridge the gap,” Dean writes.

“We are hoping some of you may have a stock of masks and gloves that we could pick up for use in our screening efforts. We will track the supplies provided by each source and will reimburse you for the supplies.”  Dean added that many of the contractors have refused reimbursement, donating the supplies.

Dean says the hospital is seeking:

  • N95 masks – our greatest need – for direct care;
  • Disposable masks –  with or without visor – for our assessment and screening processes and to provide care; and
  • Nitrile gloves – latex-free gloves.

Contributions from the local area can be co-ordinated through the RVH Foundation office by calling Kelly Pottage at (705) 728-9090 ext. 41510 or by cell at (705) 718-1151 or email pottagek@rvh.on.ca.