British Columbia

B.C. government launches new website to streamline donations, distribution of medical supplies

The COVID-19 Supply Hub will be managed under the new Provincial Supply Co-ordination Unit at Emergency Management B.C. and act as a one-stop resource for businesses and organizations that can supply or donate .

The COVID-19 Supply Hub is now accepting offers for front-line worker essentials

The province is asking for proposals and donations for equipment and supplies such as face shields, N95 masks, vinyl gloves, medical gowns and hand sanitizer. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

A new one-stop online resource is now available for British Columbian businesses with medical supplies they want to donate to health-care and front-line workers during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The website, called the COVID-19 Supply Hub, has been set up to triage supply offers from business and other organizations. Visitors to the site can see exactly what supplies are needed, such as masks, disinfectants and gloves, and fill out a proposal form to let the B.C. government know what they have available.

Individuals can also register to donate to the COVID-19 Supply Hub, but the province says the overall intention of the portal is to receive large commercial quantities of supplies and offers will be prioritized accordingly.

Individuals and organizations with small quantities of spare personal protective equipment should visit SafeCare BC for details on how to donate.

SafeCare BC Is working with the provincial health ministry to collect equipment to be added to the provincial supply.

According to the province, proposals will be quickly evaluated to make sure the right products get to the right workers on the front lines as efficiently as possible.

"By giving B.C. businesses a platform to help, we are enabling some of our best and brightest minds to meet the demands of this pandemic and help keep people safe," said Premier John Horgan in a statement Wednesday.

Businesses can find out on the COVID-19 supply hub website if the supplies they have to donate or offer meet the necessary criteria to be put to use in the field. (Michael Wilson/CBC)

Critical for supply chain

The COVID-19 Supply Hub's initial focus is on sourcing supplies for the health-care system and front-line workers, but the government is also accepting offers for other essentials, like cleaning supplies.

Created under a state of emergency, the hub will be managed under the new Provincial Supply Co-ordination Unit at Emergency Management B.C. in partnership with the Provincial Health Services Authority.

"Launching the COVID-19 Supply Hub is an important step in maintaining our supply chain and making sure essential goods and services are getting where they need to go, and fast," said Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth about the initiative.

The supply hub will work in co-ordination with other provincial and federal initiatives to secure medical and other essential supplies. 

On March 31, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Ottawa has inked deals with three Canadian companies — Thornhill Medical, Medicom and Spartan Bioscience — to make critical medical supplies, including ventilators, surgical masks, test kits and other items over the coming weeks.

The federal government also has ordered close to 1,570 ventilators and more than a million COVID-19 test kits.

To see more information about what is needed in B.C. or to see if your supplies can be donated, visit the COVID-19 Supply Hub website.

The site was created in partnership with the province, the non-profit organization Digital Technology Supercluster and the Business Council of British Columbia and developed by local B.C. tech company Traction on Demand.