BUFFALO, N.Y. — Medical professionals and state leaders have raised concerns over a potential shortage of essential items like hospital masks.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said New York is in critical need of personal protective equipment including gloves, gowns and masks.
Kaleida Health is now asking for donations of unused masks to help protect those on the front lines of the outbreak.
It's a mission Habitat for Humanity Buffalo was able to lend a hand in.
“Habitat rehabs the majority of the houses that we build ... so we need to wear masks to keep our volunteers safe regularly and it’s something that we happen to keep in inventory," explained Stephanie Lawson, the development and communications manager for Habitat for Humanity Buffalo.
"When we realized that there was this shortage, we reached out to our friends at Kaleida to find out if the masks that we had on hand would be something that they could use.”
Lawson told 2 On Your Side, Friday morning representatives with Kaleida picked up about 20,000 face masks from Habitat's location on South Park.
“As soon as we realized that we had such a large quantity in stock our first thought was we have to get these into the hands of the folks who need them most," Lawson said.
Catholic Charities is also accepting donations of unused masks.
Additionally, the governor is now incentivizing companies to do what they can to supply the crucial gear healthcare workers need.
Cuomo said, “If you can make them, we can give you funding to do it.”
On Twitter the wrote in part:
- Need Funding? 212-803-3100
- Have Unused Supplies? 646-522-8477
- If you have any of these unused supplies, please email COVID19supplies@esd.ny.gov
Kaleida will accept any N95 and Non-N95 mask donations.
The N95 masks that are in high need are:
- -3M 1860 model (size regular and small)
- -Halyard model #46767 and 46867
To help, contact the Kaleida Health Coronavirus Command Center: Phone: (716) 859-2200; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.