CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University faculty and employees collected more than 12 pallets of personal protective equipment, including nearly 200,000 pairs of gloves and more than 8,000 face masks, and is providing the much-needed supplies to Oregon health care workers confronting the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is a really dire situation statewide and I was really impressed by how OSU responded,” said Mike Bamberger, Oregon State University’s emergency preparedness manager. “We gathered everything from a single box of gloves to a pallet of them. University programs really stepped up at a time of great need.”
Bryan Lee, Benton County’s emergency manager, said that operations of all area health care facilities would have likely been severely hampered without the supplies provided by OSU’s Corvallis campus.
“These resources are literally saving lives and keeping our health care system supported,” Lee said.
On Sunday afternoon, OSU Provost and Executive Vice President Edward Feser sent a university-wide email asking OSU research units and facilities across the state for donations of medical masks, safety glasses, gloves, gowns and scientific swabs that were not immediately needed.
Personal protective equipment is in great need in Oregon and throughout the country as the COVID-19 pandemic grows. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has called for donations of personal protective equipment and for healthcare providers to cease non-emergency procedures to preserve supplies.
The OSU response, led by Bamberger and Staci Simonich, OSU’s associate vice president for research, was far-reaching throughout the state. It included labs and facilities on the Corvallis campus, OSU-Cascades in Bend, the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, the Food Innovation Center in Portland, experiment stations and OSU Extension offices.
University officials collected and inventoried personal protective equipment on Monday and Tuesday. Supplies were then distributed to county emergency management centers across the state and will be returned to OSU if not needed. The OSU collection effort has ended for now but could be resumed if state or county officials put a call out for more supplies, Bamberger said.
Items collected included:
- Nearly 200,000 pairs of gloves
- More than 6,000 surgical masks
- Almost 2,300 N95 medical masks
- More than 1,700 gowns and aprons
- More than 700 lab coats
- More than 150 disposable coveralls
- More than 75 face shields