Hospitals Hold Drive for Masks as Impending Shortage Looms

March 23, 2020 Updated: March 23, 2020

A Toronto hospital is accepting donations of masks and other protective gear from members of the public in an effort to ward off what some say is an impending shortage.

The Personal Protective Equipment Drive at Michael Garron Hospital comes a day after two Ontario medical associations sounded the alarm about the supply of N95 and surgical masks.

The Ontario Medical Association and the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario said there is a large stockpile of the masks that have expired but should still be used in lower-risk areas.

The associations are also calling on anyone with masks not currently being used to hand them over so they can be used by health workers.

A man in a mask boards a bus
A man in a mask boards a bus on campus at Western University in London, Ontario on March 13, 2020. (Geoff Robins/AFP via Getty Images)

They specifically called on education institutions and dental workers to repurpose their supplies.

The federal government has said it’s secured millions more masks, which should be arriving shortly, but there’s still concern that it won’t be enough.

The PPE Drive at Michael Garron Hospital is accepting N95 respirator masks, which are able to filter out tiny particles, surgical masks that contain coughs, vented goggles, protective gloves, and gowns.

The east Toronto hospital is home to a dedicated COVID-19 assessment centre.