All across the nation there has been a dramatic shortage in several essential items, but one in particular is protective masks. While hospitals have masks in storage for their needs, the coronavirus pandemic has all but depleted their stores of the precious safety equipment—and they haven’t been helped by the members of the panicked public who bought through Amazon, and other online retailers’, stocks in a matter of hours. This has left emergency workers scrambling to find masks, with some nurses and doctors resorting to using bandanas and strips of cloth.
But some construction companies, who also use ventilation masks and breathing equipment, have been donating from their private stockpiles of the gear to help in this crisis. Several such companies are in Columbus, Ohio, and have donated to OhioHealth.
“We’ve actually had dozens of our partners already reach out,” said Roland Tokarski, OhioHealth VP.
Vice President Mike Pence put out the specific request nationwide.
“We would urge construction companies to donate their inventory of N95 to your local hospital and forgo additional orders of those industrial masks,” said Pence.
Tokarski oversees construction at OhioHealth.
“In construction and also in manufacturing and a number of different types of industries people use these masks very readily,” said Tokarski.
Messer construction is just one company that answered the call. The company sent 180 masks to OhioHealth hospitals.
“They’re just one of many, but they’ve certainly been very helpful thus far,” said Tokarski.
While OhioHealth evaluates how to move forward with its own construction projects, Tokarski says what’s important now is to keep everyone safe.
“I think the whole community and everybody is really rallying around just to make sure healthcare facilities provide the care that we need here in the community,” said Tokarski.