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Construction begins to answer the call to help hospitals in COVID-19 fight

Angela Gismondi
Construction begins to answer the call to help hospitals in COVID-19 fight

 

If you are in the construction industry and have mobilized to help the health care sector, as it battles the COVID-19 crisis, please email us at editor@dailycommercialnews.com.

 

The health care sector in Ontario has put out a call for personal protective equipment to help deal with the COVID-19 crisis and the construction industry is responding.

Both the Hamilton-Halton Construction Association (HHCA) and the Grand Valley Construction Association (GVCA) put out an urgent call to members late last week — the HHCA for St. Joseph’s Health Care Centre in Hamilton and the GVCA for St. Mary’s General Hospital in Kitchener. Masks and other protective gear are needed.

“The hospital is appealing to the construction industry because many contractors and subtrades use these particular masks,” read the email. “We are pleading with you to check your stock. The hospital will purchase your surplus. You or a family member could be the next person they need to treat.”

“Our health care community is our front line — working tirelessly to bring this pandemic under control,” adds the release. “The shortage of these masks puts everyone who works in the hospital and those entering the facility at additional risk, risk that is potentially fatal.”

Frontline workers need N95 respirator masks which are able to filter out tiny particles; surgical masks which help contain coughs; gowns; gloves; battery-operated thermometers; hand sanitizer; wipes; and respirators. The supplies will be given to hospitals, paramedics, police and other frontline workers.

“St. Joseph’s Health Care Hamilton called and requested N95 masks specifically but I’ve since learned that P100 masks are also needed by hospitals,” said Sue Ramsay, president of the HHCA, in an email to the Daily Commercial News.

“It’s imperative that as an industry we support our health care workers across the country as they put themselves in harms way to bring COVID-19 under control. Health and safety is a top priority for construction employers, they understand better than most how important PPE is to keep their employees safe. Construction will answer the call.”

To donate supplies to St. Joseph’s, contact Angela Mastandrea, director, strategic sourcing and logistics, at amastand@stjoes.ca.

 

We are asking that you provide us an inventory of what you have on hand

— Newfoundland and Labrador Construction Association

 

Martha George, president of the GVCA, said her members have already started to provide support to the health care sector.

“We had one company offer their supply, and directly connected them with the hospital,” said George in an email. “I know that we all feel hopeless during this time, so anyway we can help — whether it is just connecting the industry to ask for help or giving what you have to a cause to help our medical community.”

To donate to St. Mary’s contact Purchasing and Supply Chain Manager, Suzy Araujo at saraujo@smgh.ca or call 519-749-6578, ext. 1210.

Newfoundland and Labrador Construction Association (NLCA) is also asking its members to respond.

“One of the things we can do is help ensure the health care professionals have access to the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) they need to keep them and us safe,” states a release from the NLCA.

“Many of you are in the unique position of using much of this equipment in your own businesses. Rather than allow those materials to sit idle we need to get it to the front lines.”

In particular, the association is looking for masks, face shields, gloves and gowns, which they said are needed as soon as possible.

“The top priority is the N95 mask, we have already sourced 6,000 from a mining company, we believe there are more out there,” states the release.

“We are asking that you provide us an inventory of what you have on hand, secure it and, once we have direction from health care providers, help us deliver it into the right hands… We are working with the procurement team at Eastern Health, who in turn are connect to health boards across the province.”

Anyone who can help is being asked to email scasey@nlca.ca.

EllisDon is one of the construction companies answering the call. The company started collecting an inventory of supplies last weekend and is hoping to donate them in the next week.

“We will be donating to those hospitals we are working with as per need and request,” said company spokesperson Dustin Luchka, in an email. “We are construction several hospital expansions across the country plus we are the facilities services provider at several as well.”

“We depend on our frontline medical workers more than ever right now,” he added.

“They all deserve to have the resources they need to keep themselves as safe as possible. We could not be more grateful for their efforts and sacrifices during this time. They are the true heroes right now.”

The Ontario General Contractors Association and the Toronto Construction Association have also confirmed they are currently putting plans in place to help the health care industry.

 

Follow the author on Twitter @DCN_Angela.

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