Governor Kate Brown on Sunday applauded the success of a recent effort to acquire personal protective equipment (PPE) in anticipation of the surge of COVID-19 patients that will need treatment in the coming weeks.
She thanked individuals, businesses, organizations and health care providers who have contributed any available reserves of PPE for COVID-19 response.
“I want to sincerely thank every single individual and organization who contributed to this effort,” she said. “You truly reflect the Oregon way — coming together in difficult times for the good of Oregonians most in need.”
The Oregon Dental Association (ODA) was among the first organizations leading the way through a donation drive that resulted in more than 60,000 masks and approximately 600,000 gloves, gowns, and face shields from dentists across Oregon.
In addition to the contributions of the ODA, the state Emergency Coordination Center has received over 104,000 masks and 273,000 gloves from private donations.
However, she said, even the significant amounts donated “fall far short of what is needed in Oregon,” with health care workers across the state still reusing PPE and even making their own masks and face shields due to national PPE shortages.
Gov. Brown says only the federal government has the resources necessary to fill the need of health care workers treating the surge of COVID-19 patients the state is anticipating. She has said the feds, to date, have fulfilled only about a quarter of the supplies Oregon requested weeks ago.
“The contributions Oregonians have made so far are a great start, but Oregon’s health care workers will need still more PPE as this public health crisis continues,” she said. “We must continue to do everything possible to make sure they have the equipment they need.”
Governor Brown issued Executive Order 20-10 on March 19, in response to a risk of a severe shortage of personal protective equipment in the state. Without this equipment, health care providers on the front line of the coronavirus public health emergency are at risk of exposure and infection.
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