Habitat for Humanity Heartland Ontario has provided thousands of personal protective equipment (PPE) to hospitals, nursing and retirement homes, as well as other healthcare groups in the London, Ont., region.
Officials say more donations are on the way.
“So far we’ve donated over 2,400 masks and just shy of 2,000 bodysuits. As this product becomes available to us from donors and things like that we will continue to put them out to the places with some of the highest need,” CEO Brian Elliot told Global News on Tuesday.
“There was no point just having it on our shelf when we can actually put it to good use.”
Elliot says some of the product was in a warehouse for use through its build sites and in their ReStore locations, but additional items came from community donations. He added that donations have been made to hospitals in Elgin, Oxford, and Middlesex counties as well as to two retirement homes in Stratford, two nursing homes in London, and London X-Ray Associates.
Elliot added that Habitat for Humanity Heartland Ontario is also currently working with a donor for backpacks, books, and colouring items for kids that they are hoping to distribute to shelters and women’s centres.
“Anything we can do that can help, we’re there,” he explained, “what’s been great is the community is aware of what we do and so they’re reaching out to us to see if they can donate things or assist and we’re happy to play whatever role we can even if it’s just redistributing product out to these organizations in need.”
While Habitat is doing its part to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and to offer help to those on the front lines, Elliot noted that the organization is currently without its biggest source of revenue as it had to shut down its ReStores.
“It just means we’re having to make some decisions later on,” Elliot said, “but we wanted to do what was right for our employees by keeping them safe and by doing right by the community by not creating another spot for people to gather while we deal with this.”
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.
Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.
To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.
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