The University of Windsor is donating boxes of disposable gowns, gloves, masks, and other supplies needed by frontline hospital staff testing local residents for the COVID-19 virus.
It will be the second shipment of items donated by the University to Windsor Regional Hospital. Last week the Faculty of Nursing donated items from its inventory and Tuesday donated two ventilators for the hospital’s use.
“To me, this shows the power between researchers and the hospital,” said UWindsor researcher Lisa Porter, executive director of WE-Spark Health Institute, a research partnership involving the University of Windsor, Windsor Regional Hospital, Hotel-Dieu Grace Healthcare, and St. Clair College.
Porter said the items collected from labs in the Faculty of Science and the Faculty of Human Kinetics, and the University’s Chemical Control Centre, will be delivered Friday. The Faculty of Science has pledged cover the costs of the donated items from its labs, reimbursing the individual researchers who paid for the items out of their research grants.
“The response from faculty and staff across campus has been amazing,” said Chris Houser, dean of the Faculty of Science. “They want to help in any way they can because they see the University as an important community partner.”
Chemists in his faculty are also making hand sanitizer that will be distributed to local healthcare facilities.
Items like disposable masks, gowns, gloves and shoe coverings, hand sanitizer, face shields, safety glass, respirators, ventilators, and other medical equipment are in short supply around the globe as countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Governments have urged people not to hoard such supplies in their homes since communities are better served if the items are used by those medical personnel who most need them.
The Faculty of Nursing, with its close relationship to local hospitals, was the first to respond with donations of medical supplies from the University. From the supplies used for training its students, the faculty was able to donate disposable masks, gloves, hand sanitizer and other items. It also donated the ventilators Windsor Regional Hospital picked up Tuesday.
“I’m very pleased that the community is coming together and that the university, including the Faculty of Nursing, is able to help,” said dean of nursing Linda Patrick.
Windsor Regional Hospital has established a COVID-19 assessment centre. It is one of several across the province set up to test people who think they might have the virus.
Since it began operating March 16, hospital staff there have seen about 700 patients. Swabs were collected from about half of them.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an international shortage of critical personal protective equipment,” said Gisele Seguin, executive director of the Windsor Regional Hospital Foundation. “The University of Windsor’s willingness to help will ensure our frontline staff are able to remain healthy and safe. Their generosity will save lives during this crisis. Thank you from all of us at Windsor Regional Hospital.”