Assiniboine Community College has joined the battle against COVID-19, donating both medical supplies and staff to the cause.
The Brandon college answered the call from Shared Health for medical supplies, donating 120 N95 masks, 4,000 gloves and six cases of wipes, ACC president Mark Frison said Tuesday.
All of the supplies came from the college’s facilities department, he said.
"We do the vast majority of all the practical nurse training in the province, but these were not nursing supplies," Frison said.
The department had stocked up on masks and gloves in the event they were needed during the pandemic, but most of the more than 300 staff is now working from home, Frison said, while the wipes were just part of their ordinary stock.
As well, the chair of the Public Safety department, a former police officer, is now working with a Manitoba police force currently short of officers, while a couple of people in the finance department have been loaned out to Shared Health to help with its purchasing efforts.
The college’s nursing students are also doing their final practicum in area hospitals, while some of the instructors are taking shifts in the health region, Frison said.
"When we had some of these call-outs, like for purchasing or on the police side, it wasn’t a hard choice to make, that these other ... efforts were probably more important than our own needs at this particular time," he said.
"You have to do what’s right for the larger picture."
On Tuesday, the Manitoba government sent out a news release saying it is also looking for assistance from the garment industry to source medical gowns, suits and other products requiring sewing.
Manitoba manufacturers or businesses that are able to provide supplies or prepared to retool and scale up production lines to develop products made in Manitoba to help in the fight against COVID-19 can go to the online submission form at manitoba.ca/covid19supplies.
After visiting the site, businesses should wait to be contacted by the procurement office, the news release said.
Last week, Shared Health issued a call to businesses who have personal protective equipment on hand to donate what they can as long as they are in original packaging, clean and in usable condition.
They are seeking N95 masks, surgical masks, gloves, medical gowns and additional medical supplies to aid in the fight against COVID-19.
There is a drop-off location in Brandon. Those who are interested can go online to sharedhealthmb.ca/covid19/supply-donations/.
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