Hospitals so worried about running out of masks, they’re asking for your help
A New Jersey hospital and State Police are asking the public for help as the number of people needing treatment for COVID-19 continues to grow — and supplies run short.
The federal government has not come through with nearly as many masks, gowns and other personal protection equipment (PPE) as New Jersey has requested, according to Gov. Phil Murphy. Several governors have said they're essentially in competition for supplies.
During an interview with ABC This Week on Sunday, Murphy said, "We've had a big ask into the strategic stockpile in the White House. They've given us a fraction of our ask. We are, as a state, private sector, public sector, nonprofits turning over every stone, but we need a lot more PPE, both to protect our health care workers and to treat the sick."
Murphy on his Twitter account said he had a call with President Donald Trump on Monday and made an "urgent" request for PPE.
"We’re doing everything we can in New Jersey, but we still need federal support," he said.
State Police in a message on their Twitter account asked for donations of PPE from companies and individuals.
Holy Name Hospital in Teaneck and hard-hit Bergen County, with 609 positive test results as of Monday according to the state Deptartment of Health, is asking for donations to help purchase "essential supplies and equipment" to keep its staff healthy and to provide care.
In a message on its Twitter account on Monday, the hospital set a goal of $100,000.
In a tweet on Sunday, the hospital said it was down to a four-day supply of the N-95 masks that can provide healthcare providers some protection against the novel coronavirus, and was completely out of gowns.
N-95 masks are tight fitting and filters out 95 percent of airbourne particles large and small, according to the Centers for Disease Control. It is recommended they be discarded after each use when near a patient. Providers in some healthcare systems have said they're washing masks and discarding them just once per day, to make supplies last longer.
Prudential Insurance announced on Monday it was donating 153,000 face masks. including 75,000 N-95 masks, along with $1.5 million in funding for local businesses and community support, both in the U.S. and internationally. The company also donated 300 bottles of hand sanitizer, which it gave to New Jersey State Police for distribution.
"These masks will be used for those in health care spaces who are not directly at risk for coronavirus (COVID-19) exposure but still may want additional protection," she said. "This will allow the professional protective gear to be used exclusively for health care professionals who are at higher risk of exposure."