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Santa Cruz County asking for donations as health care system prepares for patient surge

face masks coronavirus
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SANTA CRUZ COUNTY, Calif. (KION) Santa Cruz County is looking for personal protective equipment, or PPE, donations to protect the health and safety of health care workers.

An online system for donations has been created by the county for organizations, businesses or community members with extra PPE.

"Personal protection equipment is in high demand nationally as the health care infrastructure prepares for a surge in COVID-19 patients. Any donations will be prioritized and distributed according to medical need in Santa Cruz County," county spokesman Jason Hoppin said.

The county is looking for these supplies:

  • Eye protection, such as goggles or face shields
  • Antibacterial and disinfecting wipes that are unopened. They are usually alcohol or bleach based. This does not include baby wipes.
  • N95 and surgical masks in unopened containers
  • Medical gowns, including disposable ones and cloth surgical and hospital gowns in good condition.

To donate, follow the link here and fill out a brief online form.

This week a group of Central Coast residents started sewing masks to give to nurses at hospitals and senior facilities. Deanne Taylor started the group Sunday, and they've already made several hundred.

“On Facebook seeing other people in other areas sewing and meeting community needs for the shortage of the masks. I have fabric, and I have time, so i pulled my sewing machine out,” Taylor said.

So far about a dozen others have joined in on the mask making.

“Most seamstresses have a ton of fabric sitting around, and we’re all at home so we can be part of the solution,” Lindsay Beavers said.

While masks are in high demand, beds may be too. A USA Today report shows Santa Cruz county has just one ICU bed to every 2,600 residents over the age of 60. That is a worse ratio compared to similar sized counties around the country. However, county officials say, since most COVID-19 victims don’t need to go to the ICU they should have enough space.

“We feel we have adequate infrastructure to handle the surge of patients that are coming, and we are working with our local health care infrastructure [including] Sutter Health, Watsonville Hospital and of course Dominican to increase the number of ICU beds,” Hoppin said.

Hoppin said every hospital in the county has a "surge plan" to prepare for any disaster situation.

“Disaster planning is central to any health care planning, and we do a lot of that. We have a mobile hospital that the county has access to in Watsonville,” the spokesman said.

The county said they will be adding alternative care sites, which they’ll have more details on in the coming days.

As of Thursday, there is not a shortage of hospital beds or masks in the county.

Coronavirus / News / Santa Cruz County / Top Stories

Avery Johnson

Avery Johnson is the Digital Content Director at KION News Channel 5/46.

Drew Andre

Drew Andre is a multi-media journalist at KION News Channel 5/46.

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