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Coronavirus

PPE Donors Include Dentist, Film Industry

By Cece Nunn, posted Apr 7, 2020
Personal protective equipment donations can be dropped off in New Hanover County at the New Hanover Regional Medical Center Business Center at 3151 S. 17th St in Wilmington. (Photo by Cece Nunn)
New Hanover County had received 27,000 pieces of personal protective equipment as of Monday morning, county officials said, and continues to take donations for health care workers.

A couple of the donors so far have included at least one of the dentist offices in Wilmington and, according to a Halloween Daily News post, the producers of Halloween Kills.

The movie, filmed in Wilmington last year, had leftover, unused N95 masks from hospital scenes. The masks were given to New Hanover Regional Medical Center, the post stated.

While county officials couldn't confirm the specific Halloween Kills donation from their records, they said stunt coordinators and movie studios have donated items.

In another example, Riccobene Associates Family Dentistry donated carloads of items in March.

"We are treating people with essential dental needs, trying to do our part to keep them out of emergency rooms so that the hospital beds can be used to help treat the virus. As healthcare providers ourselves, we understand the need for proper protection as it keeps the medical teams and their patients safer,” said Michael Riccobene, CEO of Riccobene dentistry, in a news release.

Riccobene officials pointed out that many medical masks and gloves are designed to be used once, and with new cases of COVID-19 reported every day, supplies are dangerously low. 

New Hanover County officials stated in an email that the 27,000 PPE items donated so far have included nitrile, vinyl, latex, non-latex, CPE, neoprene, synthetic and cleaning gloves; N95, N99, P95, R95, ear loop, ear loop with eye protection, surgical, respirators, dust and homemade masks; safety goggles and face shields; surgical, plastic and isolation gowns; sanitizer hand wipes, hand soap, disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer liquid; and other miscellaneous items.

New Hanover County’s Emergency Operations Center, New Hanover Disaster Coalition and NHRMC are working together to get additional personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care workers, according to a county news release.

The donation drop-off site at the NHRMC Business Center, 3151 S. 17th St., is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Thursday.

"Outreach is ongoing to healthcare providers, industrial partners, the business community and the public," the release stated. "Those who have masks, gowns, gloves and more are encouraged to donate this protective gear."

Donors can also coordinate donations through the New Hanover Disaster Coalition by emailing the group's executive director Audrey Hart at [email protected].

On Tuesday, Novant Health, which operates Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center, announced that people can drop off medical supply donations at the Walgreens store in Shallotte, 4577 Main St. 

Those with large donations should contact [email protected].

Novant Health is accepting supplies such as personal protective equipment and disinfecting wipes. According to a news release, the medical supply donations must be in original, unopened packaging and may include:

  • masks (N95, surgical and procedure)
  • disinfecting wipes such as Clorox or Sani-cloth wipes
  • hand sanitizer
  • face shields
  • goggles and eye shields and
  • isolation or surgical gowns.
Novant Health is also accepting homemade fabric surgical masks, the release stated. Community members can find instructions for the approved patterns at NovantHealth.org/giving.

In addition to the NHRMC Business Center site, New Hanover Regional Medical Center is accepting donations at Rocky Point Medical Pavilion, 7910 U.S. 117 South in Rocky Point starting Thursday and continuing on other dates.

Dosher Memorial Hospital in Southport is also seeking PPE donations, with more information available online. Information about donating PPE to Brunswick County EMS is also available online.
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