Lane County collecting donations of protective gear

Equipment can be donated at the Lane County Public Works warehouse on North Delta Highway from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Posted: Mar 25, 2020 7:10 PM
Updated: Mar 25, 2020 7:19 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- Businesses and individuals have donated 101,000 pieces of personal protective equipment to the county, officials said.

The protective gear will be distributed among hospitals, first responders and other medical providers.

Much of the equipment was donated by businesses that had items like masks and gloves on hand but had reduced hours or have closed because of the crisis. KEZI 9 News has heard reports of businesses like dental offices and veterinarians donating equipment.

Officials said that the 101,000 figure is slightly inflated by items like boxes of gloves, which come in high quantities.

"It's not like we have 101,000 masks per se, but a great start," said Jason Davis with Lane County Public Health. "We need that PPE to keep rolling in. So if you are an industry or business that has been shut down and you have spare PPE, you can make those donations."

Equipment can be donated at the Lane County Public Works warehouse on North Delta Highway from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Meanwhile, hospital officials are considering rationing protective equipment in some form as they troubleshoot protective measures like triage tents and trailers outside of emergency departments.

PeaceHealth Medical Group Oregon announced the availability of telephone visits for patients in the state in order to prevent the spread of the virus. 

Appointments over the phone will work much like appointments in person. Medical assistants will update information before the patient speaks to a doctor. 

Telephone visits are being offered to patients with already scheduled appointments that can't be postponed to a later date as well as patients scheduling new appointments who have already been established with PeaceHealth. 

Face-to-face exams are being prioritized for those with immediate or urgent health needs. Still, officials said that other medical issues are still important during this time of crisis.

"Don't be afraid to contact us by phone if you have other medical conditions. A heart attack, a stroke is not going to wait until COVID is over. And so we want to make absolutely sure that our patients know we are open for business," said interim VP medical director Dr. Robin Virgin.

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