American Nursing Homes in Need of Mask Donations and Other PPE as Country’s Long-Term Care Facilities Reach Record Deaths Due to COVID-19

Local communities can utilize resources from the Masks For Heroes website to help support facilities in their area.

New York, NY, May 01, 2020 --( As the country’s tragic death toll from Coronavirus continues to rise, many media outlets are reporting new COVID-19 spikes in nursing homes and long-term care facilities. In fact, "Arizona Republic" reported more than half of the total COVID-19 deaths in Maricopa County, Arizona, which is, by far, the largest county in Arizona, have been in nursing homes and long-term care facilities.

These locations are high-risk due to a multitude of reasons. Residents are among the most vulnerable populations to the highly infectious virus, and many have underlying health problems. They lack testing and are in dire need of more PPE (personal protective equipment) for staff and residents. According to MSNBC, many are understaffed to begin with and need extra personnel to bolster shifts when staff members are out sick themselves or when their star members are not coming to work because they’ve been exposed and are told to quarantine.

While the federal government is working to deliver PPE and testing to medical facilities, the supplies don’t seem to be reaching long-term care facilities. According to the “Oklahoma Watch,” some nursing home officials and employees say deliveries have been slow and inconsistent and they are scrambling to buy PPE on the open market.

“While attention has focused on getting masks and PPE to large, urban hospitals, we can’t overlook the needs of these facilities that are being hit hard by COVID-19,” said Becky Vieira, Founder of Masks For Heroes. “What’s great about Masks For Heroes is we work with donors ranging from large groups down to individuals sewing masks at home. This allows us to fulfill the needs of a myriad of facilities -- nursing, long-term and residential care included.”

Masks For Heroes can specifically help nursing homes, long-term and residential care facilities receive the PPE donations they so desperately need. Facilities can submit a request for PPE on its website, and Masks For Hero will verify and add it to the database, regardless of facility type or size. All donations requests are processed equally, whether it’s a major market hospital or private nursing home in a smaller market.

How To Request A Donation of Masks and PPE

Any facility treating COVID-19 patients can visit the “Request PPE” section of the Masks For Heroes website to register for the donation program. After providing contact information, a shipping address and selecting the types of PPE needed, the request will then be verified by the asks For Heroes team. Once the initial process has been completed, it will be added to the database and will be accessible by donors.

How To Help Your Local Facilities

Visit the Masks For Heroes website to see on the map what facilities in your area are asking for PPE donations.

Check your garage, drawers and attic for any unused PPE you might have. These include face masks (N95 masks are always preferred), gloves, surgical gowns, hand sanitizer, etc.

Ask your friends, family and neighbors to do the same. If you can sew, there is a need for handmade masks as well. You can find many simple patterns and tutorials available on the Masks For Heroes website to help.

If you don’t have PPE or can’t sew, you can still help. Visit the “Other Ways To Help” section on the Masks For Heroes’ website for more ideas, including memes and sample scripts to post on NextDoor, Facebook and Instagram, as well as how-to contact your local press to help spread awareness.

About Masks For Heroes
Masks for Heroes is a grassroots movement created by a mom. Becky Vieira wanted to help find PPE for some of the doctor and nurse parents in her son's preschool class. They began expressing concerns over the rapidly dwindling supply of PPE in mid-March, and she felt compelled to help them find N95 masks and supplies. What started as a desperate search for PPE through an Instagram post quickly turned into an organization with international reach, receiving hundreds of requests to date to help save the lives of the people who are in charge of saving ours. Masks For Heroes has been featured in, Fox Business, Patch, HuffPost and Parade.

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Masks For Heroes
Erin Cohen