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If you have spare masks, gloves — share them with healthcare workers

Operation Protect seeks to collect supplies of personal protective equipment to give to frontline workers in the fight against the novel coronavirus
Operation Project is collecting medical supplies
Operation Protect is collecting supplies, such as masks, eyewear and gloves, to ensure this critical equipment is available to health care workers who are on the frontline of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic

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Are you a dentist, an aesthetician or other business that has a stock of masks, hand sanitizer, eye protection, gloves or other personal protective equipment that you can donate for the safety of health care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic?

If so, you can answer the call by donating your supplies to Operation Protect, which is collecting supplies to ensure this critical equipment is available to health care workers who are on the frontline of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Started by SafeCare BC with the support of partner organizations— BC Care Providers Association, Big Steel Box, and the cities of Vancouver and Surrey — Operation Protect is collecting supplies and delivering it to the Ministry of Health, which will redistribute the equipment as needed.

“It will filter down to the organizations that need it,” said Ken Donohue, director of communications and member services for SafeCare BC, a health and safety organization for B.C.’s long-term care and home-care workers.

Donohue said the aim of the effort is to boost the stock of personal protective equipment for B.C..’s health care workers until manufacturers are able to ramp up production.

He said there is an urgent need for these supplies — and there will be for some time as the province copes with the spread of COVID-19 — and there may be excess supply among businesses, post-secondary institutions and other agencies that have been asked to close to promote social distancing.

“Were putting out this plea because we know that there are business and organizations out there who probably have some supply,” Donohue told The Tri-City News Monday. “We know there are people who want to help, here’s how they could.”

The motivation became clear as SafeCareBC started receiving emails that supplies were low; Donohue said he tells institutions with less than three days' supply to contact the ministry.

What’s needed to replenish the stock are unused and unopened personal protective equipment or medical supplies. People are encouraged to go to to learn the exact supplies that are needed and how they can donate. As well, BC Care Providers Association is also rerouting its Route 65 toll-free number—1-877-955-6565— to help with this effort. 

SafeCare BC is also seeking community partners to facilitate donation pick-ups — for example, moving companies, delivery drivers or courier companies.

“During these times when British Columbians are pulling together to battle COVID-19, we are making an extraordinary public appeal to support our health care workers by accessing existing supplies of personal protective equipment that belong to individuals and business operators,” stated Daniel Fontaine, CEO, BC Care Providers Association in a press release.

“Through these contributions of unopened and unused safety masks, gloves or hand sanitizer, you will help protect people working on the front-line fighting the coronavirus, as well as save the lives of our vulnerable seniors. We cannot thank everyone enough for contributing to Operation Protect.”

Read more of our COVID-19 coverage here.