Coronavirus: Lethbridge College offers resources to Canada’s frontline

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WATCH ABOVE: Lethbridge College officials are offering up supplies from the college’s nursing program, as well as the use of their 3D printers, to the Canadian government for front-line workers. Emily Olsen reports – Mar 26, 2020

Lethbridge College is offering up vital resources to the Canadian government, after a tweet sent out by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Tuesday afternoon.

The federal government is calling on post secondary institutions across the country, saying: “we need your expertise and your resources. If you have masks or ventilators we can use or if you think you can help us with things like 3-D printing of medical supplies, let us know.”

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READ MORE: Alberta sees 42 new cases of COVID-19, bringing total to 301 on Monday

Trudeau’s tweet also links to a federal government buy-and-sell website.

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Lethbridge College president and CEO Paula Burns says the school has already reached out to offer medical supplies from its nursing program, as well as the use of its 3D printers.

“Not just equipment, but we also have expertise,” Burns said. 

“We talk about manufacturing pieces. We have that capability and I would also say our applied research department has some expertise in using the 3D printer, but also from an engineering perspective.”

She says it’s a small price to pay to support the country’s front-line workers.

‘We’re pretty open to involving as many people as possible, of those who want to be involved.”

READ MORE: The Canada Emergency Response Benefit for COVID-19: who’s eligible and how to apply

Burns adds that the college is also reaching out to local partners and to Alberta Health Services to see if it can support them.

“Now we have an opportunity to really show how we are doing things differently,” Burns said. 

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“I think there is a huge opportunity for post secondary in general to be a big player, especially in the recovery. From an economic perspective, we are huge contributors to what will lie ahead in the next number of months.”

The government has not yet responded, but college officials are hoping that if accepted, this will further establish Lethbridge and Lethbridge College as a contributor on a national scale.

In Alberta, AHS has said it has enough PPE right now.

In a message on Twitter on Wednesday, responding to an offer to supply personal protective equipment like masks to family doctors and home care workers, AHS said supplies were adequate for now.

“We appreciate the kindness of Albertans, thinking about mask supplies in Alberta. We have sufficient supply of procedure masks and N95 respirators in Alberta, for our healthcare workers.”