Personal Protective Equipment shortages across the country are leading organizations and individuals to step up fill the gap.
U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi, a Democrat from Glen Cove, teamed up with the Long Island Chinese American Association and Long Island Laboring Against Covid-19 on April 15 to deliver more than 1,000 pieces of PPE, including 75 coverall gowns, 150 goggles, 150 face shields, 300 disposable hats and 500 N95 masks, to the Glen Cove Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation.
“We are thankful that our community is reaching out and supporting us,” said Amy Madigan, the administrative assistant for the center. “It’s tough, but we’re very happy that we’ve got the support and we’re doing everything we can here.”
Additionally, Suozzi will be surveying senior centers within his district to provide equipment and resources to protect its vulnerable residents. According to the New York State Health Department, there have been roughly 143 deaths at Nassau County senior centers and more than 1,000 deaths at senior care facilities across the state from Covid-19.
Protecting the healthcare workers that treat these patients is why Sabrina Guo, a student at Syosset High School, decided to start Long Island Laboring Against Covid-19 on March 23. She has raised over $14,000 on Gofundme to provide hospitals with the equipment needed to protect faculty and staff since April 20. She ordered 20,000 masks and has been donating them to health care facilities across the state.
“We have healthcare workers from our direct communities at the frontlines of this battle, risking their lives to serve us and our loved ones,” Guo wrote on her Gofundme. “They're not only being exposed to the virus by fighting it but are also under increasingly dire circumstances due to severe shortages of medical masks, ventilators, intensive care units and other essential equipment.”
“I created this GoFundMe to raise money for medical supplies for these frontline workers and first responders, and to show our solidarity, appreciation, and support for the enormous sacrifices they are making to keep our communities safe and healthy,” she added.
The Long Island Chinese American Association has also been providing health care facilities and first responders with PPE throughout the pandemic. “Having been watching the evolving situation of COVID-19 in China for the past two months, most Chinese Americans have gained a profound understanding of COVID-19, and we know more than anyone else that doctors and nurses are the last line of defense between life and death,” the organization’s Facebook page stated. “The United States is our country and our home, and home to our many generations to come. Protecting the frontline doctors and nurses is protecting ourselves.”
Since late March, the organization has donated over 100,000 masks to first responders and health care facilities throughout Long Island and New York City.
“In addition to flattening the curve and stopping the spread, we need to ensure that our health care workers and first responders have ample access to personal protective equipment", Suozzi said. “I want to thank Gordon Zhang and LICAA for their ongoing charitable work, providing necessary protective gear for our front-line workers. Additionally, special thanks to Syosset High School student, Sabrina Guo, for spearheading a campaign to help stem the spread of this pandemic.”