Kitchener-Waterloo

Waterloo region's hospitals looking for hand sanitizer and mask donations

Hospitals in Waterloo region currently have enough masks and hand sanitizer, but officials say that could change. In particular, there's a supply shortage of masks, and the hospitals say they could use more.

Hand sanitizer and masks 'are among our greatest needs,' Kitchener hospitals say

Hospitals in Waterloo region say they would accept donations of N95 masks so long as they're still sealed in boxes. (Tyson Koschik/CBC)

The three hospitals in Waterloo region say they currently have enough face masks, gloves and hand sanitizer but that could change.

Stephan Beckhoff with Cambridge Memorial Hospital says medical supplies "are being monitored closely," and they are working with suppliers.

Grand River Hospital and St. Mary's General Hospital in Kitchener says they've experienced "some challenges" in supply for equipment, in particular masks.

"We've already experienced the spirit of generosity and collaboration in our community and would gratefully accept donations of hand sanitizer and masks, which are among our greatest needs," the two Kitchener hospitals said in a joint statement.

The hospitals would accept N-95 respirator masks, surgical masks and procedural masks "although they must be received in an unopened, sealed box or container."

As well, any hand sanitizers that are "appropriate for use in a clinical setting" would be accepted.

The hospitals say donations can't be just dropped off.

Instead, if people have items they would like to donate, they can email either purchasing@smgh.ca or info@grhosp.on.ca.

"As social distancing is a priority, careful coordination and a process for dropping off supplies will be necessary," the statement said.

'Good number' of ventilators

In terms of ventilators, Beckhoff said as non-emergency surgeries are cancelled, more ventilators will be available.

"We have a good number of ventilators and just increased it," he said. "Also, the province just announced a critical care strategy that will help bring more ventilators to hospitals."

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