You can now donate masks, essential items at the Spokane County Fairgrounds

SPOKANE, Wash. — The coronavirus has led areas of the United State to experience shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE), including masks.

In Spokane, the number of masks required by medical professionals and first responders remains steady.

That said, Spokane County residents looking for a way to help can donate essential items beginning this week.

Starting Thursday, the Emergency Coordination Center will operate a donation center for homemade masks and other personal protective equipment at the Spokane County Fair and Expo Center.

While not recommended for medical use, the ECC will be accepting homemade masks. No medical partners or first responders are currently asking for homemade masks. Instead, they’re accept donations of new, unopened, manufactured masks.

“Manufactured masks undergo testing to ensure they meet standards. While homemade masks will provide some level of protection from respiratory droplets, the primary transmission means for COVID-19 infection, they will not provide the same degree afforded by N95 masks/respirators,” said Dr. Bob Lutz, Spokane County health officer with the SRHD. 

Other new, unopened personal protective equipment being asked for includes gloves, eye protection, gowns, hand sanitizer, paper towels, toilet paper and household disinfectants.

While all items are valued, masks that comply with CDC standards hold the greatest impact.

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