Novant Health Inc. said Tuesday that it is accepting donations of eligible medical supplies from businesses and individuals in the community.

Supplies on the list include surgical masks, eye shields and disinfectants.

Novant said it “has enough supplies, including personal protection equipment, to keep our team members, patients and communities safe from infectious diseases, including emerging diseases like the novel coronavirus.”

Vendors and suppliers interested in making a donation can email, where they will be contacted about next steps.

“Our supply chain team has worked diligently to ensure all team members have access to the supplies they need to provide remarkable care for our patients,” said Mark Welch, senior vice president of supply chain for Novant.

“We acknowledge there is a growing need for these critical supplies, and we plan to meet that need by increasing our inventory through donations from outside organizations.”

Novant said part of its response to the deadly virus is “to diversify and routinely monitor its supply chain in order to be prepared and meet patients’ needs in the hospitals, clinics and outpatient facilities.”

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center has informed employees it is considering reusing sanitized surgical masks if it becomes necessary to maintain its supplies.

Novant could not be reached for comment on whether it has similar preparation plans.

A memo sent Sunday to staff by Dr. Russell Howerton, Wake Forest Baptist’s chief medical officer, cited “the great start we’ve made with safe collection of N95 surgical masks” that began Saturday.

The memo was sent to physicians, nurses, house and clinical staff at all Wake Forest Baptist-affiliated hospitals: Davie, High Point, Lexington, Wake Forest Baptist main campus and Wilkes. It represented an update of a memo Howerton sent Saturday.

The collection of N95 and surgical masks began Saturday at the main campus and in High Point. It was scheduled to begin this week at the other hospitals.

“Infection prevention is considering the possibility of sterilizing and reusing masks,” Howerton said.

On Monday, Wake Forest Baptist issued a statement that said “to be clear, Wake Forest Baptist Health is not currently reusing masks and we do not plan to implement this process unless we are in an absolutely critical situation.”

On March 26, Duke Health told The News & Observer of Raleigh that it will stretch its supply of specialized masks used by health care workers treating coronavirus patients by decontaminating and reusing them.

Duke will use aerosolized hydrogen peroxide to treat N95 masks at its three hospitals in Durham and Raleigh. The gas permeates the masks to kill germs, including viruses, without harming the material, Duke says.

Hanesbrands Inc. confirmed Saturday that it is making cotton surgical masks at three apparel-production plans in Dominican Republic, El Salvador and Honduras as part of a federal contract to combat a national shortage of face masks resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. At peak output, the company expects to produce about 1.5 million masks a week.

Gildan Activewear Inc., which announced Monday that it is closing all manufacturing plants through mid-April, said it is available to produce surgical masks.



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