Glacial Ridge Health System has an adequate supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) – gowns, masks, personal respirators, face shields, eye goggles – currently on hand to protect our employees and patients from COVID-19. However, the global supply continues to be uncertain and we are actively taking steps to secure more supplies.
We are proactively collecting factory-made N95 and earloop masks, in addition to other PPE donations, while we continue to conserve our existing supplies to ensure our healthcare providers and patients are protected.
Many individuals and groups in our community have also generously offered to assist in our preparedness efforts by sewing reusable cloth masks. We are grateful for any donation to support our front-line caregivers and essential services staff as they screen and care for all patients – sick and well.
About Hand-Sewn Masks
Hand-sewn cloth masks are intended for patients who do not have COVID-19 symptoms and are useful in a crisis situation as a last resort to allow for prioritization of PPE where it is needed most. They may also be used to cover an N95 mask a healthcare provider is wearing to extend the time it can be worn. This will help conserve precious reserves of N95 masks for healthcare workers caring for patients with COVID-19 symptoms – so they can keep caring for others.
While most instructions are similar and meet CDC guidelines, there are variables depending on their intended purpose. Please disregard any other instructions you may see circulating on social media and use the ones at this link instead if the instructions/material are different. These two versions – with and without elastic – are consistent with what Allina Health and Vanderbilt University Medical Center are sharing with their community. (Elastic is becoming the new toilet paper and in short supply! There are other ways to make the straps.)
Instructions for Hand-Sewn Masks – With and Without Using Elastic (pdf)
Where to Donate PPE
[During the Governor’s “Stay Home” Executive Order, please limit your trips out of the home and only drop them off when you are out for other essential needs. We are well stocked at this time to care for all patients safely – both well and sick – in our ambulance, hospital, and clinics.]
Masks and other supplies of personal protective equipment can be safely donated at Glacial Ridge Health System in Glenwood. Please donate all unused factory-made items in their original packaging if possible. There is a clear tote at the main hospital/clinic entrance for drop-offs 8 am – 7 pm Monday – Friday, and 8 am – 2 pm Saturday and Sunday. Staff will be checking it regularly. Donations are also being collected in the clear totes at Brooten Medical Center and Starbuck Medical Center Monday – Friday 8 am – 5 pm. To arrange a donation of large quantities or items on a pallet, please call ahead. We appreciate your generosity.
Messages of Encouragement and Thanks
If you’d like to include a message with your donation for our team or send a message by email, please do! You can also add messages of cheer that we’ll share with Ridgewood Villa tenants who have been staying in their apartments with no visitors for weeks. Email [email protected] and we’ll share them with our team and Ridgewood Villa residents. Thank you for thinking of us.
If the need arises and we still have an adequate supply of factory-made PPE for our staff and patients in the hospital and clinic, we may share your donations with area nursing homes and hospitals. Your efforts will make a difference in our community where they are needed most.
We are proud of our community’s strength and eagerness to rally with us to provide the best health care possible in the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re all in this together.
Help Others With Food Access and Support Local Businesses
We encourage donations to your local food shelf. With an increase in people needing food support at this time, food shelves are feeling the pressure to serve more people with less. A donation of food and basic personal necessities (or money for food) to your local food shelf could feed your neighbors, families, and children when they need it most.
Minnewaska Area Schools and BBE Schools continue to provide access to free meals to all students in their districts – both pick-up and delivery options – so no child goes hungry. This will continue during distance learning that will begin on April 30, 2020. They are accepting monetary donations to off-set the expenses.
Remember to support the restaurants and local businesses that sponsor local events, fundraisers, and student activities all year long by ordering pick-up meals for lunch and supper when they are able to offer it! Thank you to the restaurants in our communities who have been offering no-cost, pick-up lunches for students during school closure as well.
Donate Blood to the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross is facing a potential blood shortage due to COVID-19 concerns. They have issued a CRITICAL NEED FOR BLOOD and platelet donors. You will help save a life – or many. Additional protocols are put in place at blood drives to protect you and the staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are healthy, feeling well, and eligible to give blood or platelets, we encourage you to make an appointment to donate safely by:
> Visiting redcrossblood.org/give to find blood drives near you.
> Calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767)
> Using the Red Cross Blood Donor app: redcrossblood.org/blood-donor-app.html
To reduce wait time, you can make an appointment and complete the RapidPass online health history questionnaire at redcrossblood.org/RapidPass.