Hospital battling coronavirus making face shields using office supplies

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RENTON, Wash. – A hospital system in Washington is making face shields for medical workers using office supplies to help with a shortage of medical protective gear.

According to CNN, 20 administrative staff members at Providence St. Joseph Health system made over 500 face shields using marine-grade vinyl, foam, tape, and elastic. 

Jennifer Bayersdorfer, the hospital group’s senior vice president for clinical quality, said staff members bought materials at various craft stores and Home Depot to assemble the shields in a conference room. 

Officials are working on kits that can be used by volunteers to assemble face shields at home. The hospital said it plans to start making masks as well.

“The situation is fluid but at any given time we are a just few days away from running out [of protective supplies],” Melissa Tizon, a spokeswoman for Providence St. Joseph Health, told CNN. “We get shipments from suppliers but it’s unpredictable how much and when product will show up, and it’s not enough.”

Providence St. Joseph Health, which has 51 hospitals across seven states, announced on Thursday it will contribute $500,000 to help not-for-profit community partners respond to challenges of the coronavirus crisis. Funds will be released in two phases, with immediate support going to partners meeting the human needs in heavily impacted communities.

The hospital group’s Providence Laboratory Services also announced March 19 that they have begun large-scale COVID-19 testing, according to KOIN’s coronavirus coverage

If you want to support the hospital system’s ongoing response to the coronavirus, you can make a donation here. Your donations can go to the hospital system’s “Helping Hand” initiative to support caregivers, the COVID-19 Research fund that supports analytics and research efforts, or to the COVID-19 response effort which supports poor and vulnerable people dealing with the impacts of coronavirus.

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