Businesses, residents asked to donate essential medical supplies, personal protective equipment to hospitals

Face masks are just one of the personal protection items greatly needed. (MGN Image)
By  | 

LANSING, MI (WILX) - With many hospitals throughout Michigan facing potential shortages of face masks and other essential medical supplies and personal protective equipment, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer called upon Michiganders and businesses on Tuesday to donate items needed most by hospitals and medical providers.

“Our brave medical professionals and first-responders are on the front lines of keeping us safe, and we must do everything we can to protect them and every Michigander we can from the spread of COVID-19,” Whitmer said in a news release. “Right now, medical professionals across the state are forced to reuse face masks. This increases the risk of spreading COVID-19 during a time when we should do everything we can to mitigate it. We’re not getting the tools we need from the federal government, so it’s on all of us to work together to protect each other. ”

Clinicians in the state are working "tirelessly" to care for people affected by the pandemic, said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services chief deputy for health and chief medical executive, in the release. “They deserve to be able to do their jobs safely and these donations will help protect the health and safety of both providers and patients.”

Donations of essential items will be used to meet medical providers’ most pressing needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Below are the material donations most needed by hospitals. This list will be updated as efforts continue to progress.

Items most needed at this time:
- hospital gowns;
- ventilators;
- sanitizer (hand/wipe);
- gloves;
- surgical masks;
- masks N95-N100; and
- no-touch thermometers.

Donations can be directed to the Michigan Community Service Commission at COVID19donations@michigan.gov or (517) 335-4295.

On Tuesday, Ford, 3M, the UAW, and GE Health Care announced a partnership to manufacture respirators to help Michiganders fight the spread of COVID-19. Distilleries like Coppercraft Distillery in Holland and Mammoth Distilling in Traverse City have announced plans to manufacture and distribute hand sanitizer to health care providers in their areas.

Patients with confirmed infection have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:   

- fever;
- cough; and
- shortness of breath.

The best prevention for viruses, such as influenza, the common cold or COVID-19 is to:   

- if you think you have been exposed to COVID-19, call your health care provider. If you do not have a health care provider, call the nearest hospital;    
- wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If not available, use hand sanitizer;    
- avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands;     
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing;   
- avoid contact with people who are sick;
- if you are sick, stay home, and avoid contact with others; and
- stay at least 6 feet away from others when in a public setting.   
Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus. 

Copyright 2020 WILX. All rights reserved.