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As the coronavirus cases swell, public health and emegency medical personnel battle a nationwide shortage of supplies.

COURTESY PHOTO: CDC - The country is grappling with a wide array of equipment shortages in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Locally, officials are seeking donated equipment.Multnomah County will accept donated personal protective equipment over the weekend as a program seeking to combat health system shortages is expanding.

With local doctors, nurses and other medical staff facing dire shortages of equipment to protect themselves and their patients from the spread of coronavirus, the county Health Department and Portland Fire & Rescue have set up a program to accept donations from the community.

So far it's been successful. Now the program will offer expanded hours, with donations accepted between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. today and tomorrow at the loading dock of the Multnomah County headquarters, 501 S.E. Hawthorne, on the Southeast Sixth Avenue side.

"There is an unprecedented demand on first responders and the health system due to the COVID-19 pandemic and we are facing a severe shortage of personal Protective Equipment. We are asking the community to donate all unused gear," said the announcement of the program issued by Portland Fire & Rescue. "Without this gear, hospitals and clinics may need to shut down and first responders will be limited in their abilities to help."

In the first day of the program, members of the community donated the following, according to the announcement:

• 759 respirators/face masks

• 358 containers of disinfecting wipes

• 41 boxes, or more than 7,800 pairs of gloves

• Seven bottles/refill containers of hand sanitizer

• One box of gowns

Stumptown donated more than 500 respirators and Airbnb and Portland State University donated hundreds of glove.

Officials say donations should be clean and unused, and gloves should be in a sealed box. The full list of equipment sought consists of the following:

• Latex free gloves

• Procedural masks

• Surgical masks

• N95 respirators and N95 filters

• Other respirators (P100's, PAPR's, and PAPR supplies / parts)

• Face shields

• Splash shields

• Gowns

• Hand sanitizer

• Disinfecting wipes

Officials ask that larger or more complicated donations be coordinated by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

They also suggest consolidating donations with neighbors to reduce trips. They urge that donations be made to the three approved sites, rather than medical locations, which are trying to limit contamination risk.

On weekdays, the Multnomah County donation site on 501 S.E. Hawthorne will be open from noon to 4 p.m.

During the same hours, donations also can be dropped off for Portland Fire & Rescue in the Fire Marshal Office parking lot, 1300 S.E. Gideon St.

And starting Monday, March 23, the county will open another site on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.: a drop box outside the Yeon Building, 1620 S.E. 190th Ave.

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