HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - As hospitals in Hawaii and across the nation brace for a surge in COVID-19 cases, they also face a severe shortage of personal protective equipment.
The World Health Organization has warned that the “mounting disruption to the global supply of PPE — caused by rising demand, panic buying, hoarding and misuse — is putting lives at risk from the new coronavirus and other infectious diseases.”
Healthcare workers rely on PPE to protect themselves from infections.
In Hawaii, the community is coming together to gather resources for hospitals and is also getting creative in the process.
Here’s what the community is doing and some ways you can help:
Hawaii construction industry holds supply drive
On Friday, Hawaii’s construction industry is holding a supply drive at the state Capitol.
That’s where you can donate PPE for healthcare professionals.
Contractors and architectural firms are being asked to give any N95 masks, face shields, safety glasses and Hazmat suits they may have.
The drop-off site will be right at the Father Damien statue in front of the Capitol.
It will be held from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Queen’s Health Systems seeking PPE donations
Queen’s Health Systems is asking for donations of PPE — including goggles, face shields, masks and gowns — that can be dropped off at multiple locations.
- Queen’s Medical Center – Punchbowl
- 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Front hospital lobby (valet area)
- Queen’s Island Urgent Care
- 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Queen’s Medical Center – West Oahu
- 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Receiving loading dock (mauka of the hospital)
- Molokai General Hospital
Kona healthcare organizations ask for mask donations
Starting Friday, Kona Community Hospital and the Kona Ambulatory Surgery Center will be collecting surgical masks and N95 masks.
Those who want to donate can do so at the Kona Ambulatory Surgery Center on Walua Road Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Medical students pitching in
Medical students in Hawaii have been organizing personal equipment drives to provide front-line healthcare workers with essential working equipment such as gloves and masks to keep workers safe while working with patients throughout the community.
The John A. Burns School of Medicine is accepting donations at its campus on Ilalo Street on Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Volunteers from JABSOM are available to pick up donations.
Schools get creative
Mid-Pacific Institute, Iolani School and other schools are using campus 3-D printers to help supply 4,500 face shield components to eventually distribute to Hawaii hospitals, nursing homes and retirement homes.
At Mid-Pacific, six 3-D printers have been programmed to create a plastic headband component to hold the plastic shield and elastic headband.
Bank of Hawaii donates resources
Bank of Hawaii will be donating more than more than 1,000 face shields and 200 masks to Hawaii Pacific Health and the Queen’s Health Systems.
BOH said it would also donate $100,000 to the Healthcare Association of Hawaii.
Hawaii Air National Guard pitches in
Hawaii National Guard members have been helping with logistical support with PPE and maintenance of valuable medical equipment at the Hawaii Healthcare Emergency Management Coalition facilities.
The PPE that has been inventoried and prepared for pickup are then distributed to multiple medical facilities across the state.
In addition to logistics and organizing distribution, Guard members also took inventory of the medical supplies on hand.