With the threat of flooding too many patients into hospitals at once to treat individuals with the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, hospitals are looking for assistance. Thankfully, there are ways non-medical professionals can do their part. In addition to practicing social distancing to slow the spread of the coronavirus, here's how to help hospitals during the coronavirus outbreak.
The novel coronavirus was classified as a pandemic on Wednesday, March 11, by the World Health Organization (WHO), and the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States stood at 10,442, as of Thursday, March, 19. As more COVID-19 tests become available, the number of confirmed cases continues to rise, which has hospital officials worried about shortages of ventilators — machines used to help patients breathe — as the patient population in hospitals grows.
Beyond the big machinery, doctors and nurses say they're already running out of basic supplies, like face masks and gowns. According to The New York Times, some doctors are being told to make single-use masks last multiple days in the midst of supply shortages.
This is where the public can step in. Of course, individuals can't donate actual supplies, but you can help hospitals raise funds to buy the items necessary to protect doctors and patients during this time.
1. Direct Relief's fund for medical supplies
Direct Relief is a humanitarian aid organization working with public health authorities, businesses, and nonprofit organizations to provide essential medical care items and personal protective equipment to health care workers during this crisis. Health care organizations in areas with confirmed cases of the coronavirus are receiving exam gloves, isolation gallons, and protective masks. The company has already assisted China with more than 30,000 pounds of protective gear items.
To donate to the cause, visit Direct Relief's coronavirus outbreak page.
2. Donate to other charities that support hospitals
Local hospitals take donations, so check with ones near you first to help out your community. The Center for Disaster Philanthropy, a national resource center dedicated to assisting in times of disaster, is accepting donations for the coronavirus containment efforts, responses, and recovery. The funds received go toward assisting the patients affected and the medical care responders giving patient care.
To donate to the COVID-19 Response Fund, visit their website.
3. Providence St. Joseph Health's research and care
The Providence St. Joseph Health Foundation in Washington is raising money to help provide care for vulnerable patients, as well as ongoing research to help better understand the novel coronavirus.
If you wish to donate, visit Providence St. Joseph Health's coronavirus response page.
4. A Million Masks GoFundMe
Entrepreneur Ben Wei launched a GoFundMe campaign to help deliver masks to doctors and nurses in New York City, which has the largest number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States, as of Wednesday, March 25. There's a $500,000 goal, and the homepage states the donations will be put directly toward the purchase of N95 and surgical masks and personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care workers in NYC hospitals and intensive care units.
If you would like to donate, you can do so on the A Million Masks: Coronavirus Support Fund GoFundMe page.
5. Donate Masks
Anyone with masks to donate to hospital workers can go to the Mask Match website to fill out a form that'll get the process started. Mask Match will hep with the transfer of masks from your location to where they are needed. The masks being asked for are N95, P95, R95, KN95, and all surgical masks. Health care workers can also fill out forms to request masks.
Clothing brand Svaha is donating an N95 mask to hospitals in need for every $2.50 donation they get. You can easily donate towards the cause on the brand's website.
6. Blood donation
The American Red Cross recently announced it’s experiencing a shortage of blood. The United States Surgeon General, Dr. Jerome Adams, is urging Americans who are healthy enough to donate blood to do so. The donation centers are taking the necessary precautions to keep everything sanitized, and they are complying with the CDC social distancing recommendations.
To donate blood, find a donation center near you and schedule an appointment.
7. The WHO & CDC funds to provide medical care
The WHO's fund for COVID-19 response helps with medical research, medical supplies for health care workers, and efforts to produce a treatment and vaccine.
The United States' Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is raising funds through its CDC Foundation, which provides money for emergency medical staff, coronavirus research, and various global efforts to combat the virus.
8. Free meals for health care workers
Sweetgreen is using Outposts to provide hospital workers with free meals in the Philadelphia, Boston, New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, and the Washington D.C. area. If you are a health care worker or know someone who is, you can apply to the Sweetgreen Outpost here.
You can send free pizza to hospital workers by filling out this form from &pizza. For $10, your money will go toward providing free pizza for hospital workers. You can also text 200-03 for more information.
Donate money to the Frontline Foods COVID Clinician Meal Support program, which provides free meals from local restaurants to hospital workers. You can donate to specific cities, or if you don't see your city on the list, you can sign up to make it a part of the program.
If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. You can find all Elite Daily's coverage of coronavirus here.
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