Caregivers relieved and grateful for outpouring of mask donations

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Caregivers relieved and grateful for outpouring of mask donations

Caregiver inspects recent shipment of surgical masks

“Our people are our most precious resource and these deliveries keep them safe.”

April 2020 

In the fight against COVID-19, an adequate supply of personal protective equipment is critical.  Centra is incredibly fortunate for the support of community residents, volunteer groups and businesses who have donated thousands of surgical and homemade cotton masks.  But even with this outpouring of support, the need for masks by our caregivers far exceeded the supply in early April.

 Over the past months, Centra’s materials management team has worked tirelessly to obtain additional masks through the supply chain and other channels.  Thanks to you – our donors – the Centra Foundation was able to provide funding towards Centra’s recent purchase of a large quantity of surgical masks.

A shipment of more than 100,000 masks arrived Easter Sunday at Centra from Shenzhen, China, by way of South Korea and JFK International Airport.

Anxiously awaiting their arrival, Tim Oswald, Centra materials management supervisor, had said nothing would stand in the way of their delivery.  “If I got the call at 2 am that the delivery arrived, I was not about to tell the driver to turn around,” he said.  “Our caregivers were waiting desperately for this shipment so I was ready to head straight to the hospital whenever I got the call.”

This recent acquisition has allowed Centra to continue to keep our caregivers, patients and visitors safe.  However, supplies are not unlimited, and homemade masks continue to play an important role in protecting non-patient facing caregivers in our facilities.

To date, Centra has received 3,500 cotton masks from Gretna, Bedford, Lynchburg and Farmville donors.  What began as a goodwill gesture by a few turned into an outpouring of support from these communities.

As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to spread, Centra is making every effort to secure additional masks and appreciates all donations of homemade, surgical, and N-95 masks.