It seems like many of us didn’t know what PPE—aka personal protection equipment—was at the start of the year. Now we can’t seem to grab them off shelves fast enough.
But, forces are at work to ensure that the healthcare workers on the front lines have the materials they need.
The Astros Foundation, Project C.U.R.E., and Cheniere Energy have partnered together to hold a public PPE drive at Minute Maid Park. From noon to 3 p.m. tomorrow, April 8, donors can line up in the East Curb Lane at the park’s Left Field Entrance to drop off supplies.
The requested items include:
- N95, N99, and P100 masks, and extra mask filters
- Surgical masks
- Face shields
- Surgical and isolation gowns
- Protective coveralls and shoe covers
- Hand sanitizer
- Bottles of 70% alcohol
- Eye protection and goggles
- Biohazard bags
- Sterile and non-sterile gloves
- Bleach wipes, bottles, and sprays
- 3M or MaxAir PAPR respirators
These items will be donated to essential city employees, first responders, and healthcare workers. In order to protect these workers, only unopened packages of the items listed above will be accepted.
If you don’t have any unused, unopened PPE to give, you can still make a monetary donation here. Cheniere Energy has pledged to match dollar for dollar donations up to $50,000.
This drive is coming at a vital time. Some news outlets are reporting that local healthcare facilities are running short on PPE materials, and with the CDC officially recommending that people wear masks when outside their homes, we can only expect to see further shortages.
However, Harris County leads the state in the number of positive COVID-19 cases; of the 8,262 cases reported in Texas as of April 6, almost 22 percent. If you include the surrounding counties, then the region claims 33.3 percent of the total COVID-19 cases in Texas. The people who most desperately need these supplies are the healthcare workers at testing sites and the essential city employees who can’t work from home.
So, instead of hoarding masks and gloves, maybe donate your supplies tomorrow at Minute Maid Park. If you want more protection than just staying home, we spoke with Chloe Dao on how to make your own new-sew mask with a bandana.