Allegheny County asks companies what personal protective equipment they could donate for first responders

Mar 23, 2020
By Reporter, Pittsburgh Business Times
Mar 21, 2020, 4:55pm EDT Updated Mar 21, 2020, 5:03pm EDT

Allegheny County has put out a call for companies and individuals to check their stocks to see how many N95 masks and other personal protective equipment they could donate to first responders and health care workers in the coming days.

The county has set up an email address — covid19donations@alleghenycounty.us — to alert them to the potential personal protective equipment that they might have among construction companies and the building trades or other uses that may be able to be used in the COVID-19 emergency ahead.

Fitzgerald asked for the email address to be used instead of actual donations for the time being.

"We know that a number of companies and organizations have N95 masks," Fitzgerald said.

There's a great concern that, during the wave of COVID-19 cases that are expected by Allegheny County, there will not be enough PPEs and particularly N95 masks to go around, given the highly infectious SARS-CoV-2 virus and the expected crush of patients that Allegheny County officials said last week could be in the tens of thousands in southwestern Pennsylvania.

"Don't send anything yet. Let's coordinate it," Fitzgerald said.

Allegheny County's news conference Saturday was the first since the first death related to COVID-19 was reported in the county, an individual in his or her late 60s who died after being hospitalized at AHN Jefferson Hospital in Jefferson Hills. Many more cases are expected in the coming days.

Dr. Debra Bogen , the county's new health director, said that it was important for everyone in the community to continue to follow the requests to stay home and to practice social distancing.

"The only way to keep this virus from spreading widely is that everybody in the community does this," Bogen said.