Donations continue to flow into Mills Memorial Hospital as it prepares for what could be an influx of patients stemming from the COVID-19 crisis.
Following a general call last week for personal protective equipment and other supplies, a wide variety of businesses, organizations and individuals have responded.
The list includes Coast Mountain College which is doing a complete inventory of its supplies that could assist, says official Sarah Zimmerman.
“We have provided thousands of gloves, safety glasses/goggles, masks and hand sanitizer. Delivered to hospitals in Smithers, Terrace and Rupert,” said Zimmerman late last week.
An employee at the college has been assigned as the first point of contact to identify supplies within the college’s campuses and then with Northern Health to coordinate requests, she said.
All requests are then approved by college president Justin Kohlman who has also said the college is making ready for further calls for assistance.
“We are very pleased to be able to work with Northern Health and our local governments in these exceptional times to assist where we can to provide required medical supplies, equipment and facilities,” he said.
Acadia Mechanical, one of the businesses whose employees use protective gear such as gloves, is another example of local involvement.
“Unfortunately, there is a shortage, and a desperate need of personal protective equipment for our valued front line workers,” the company indicated in a social media post.
“Acadia has donated everything we have, and could get our hands on, and we are asking others to do the same.”
Skeena Middle School, in conjunction with a private donation from Chris Thompson, last week provided iPads to Mills Memorial Hospital so patients who may be in isolation can have contact with family and friends.
And when it comes to supporting the health care professionals on duty, the local Domino’s Pizza outlet has stepped up by delivering pizzas.
Lunch and dinner deliveries are happening today, with Terraceview Lodge to have a delivery March 31 and the Northern Health health unit building on Wednesday, April 1, explains Phil Chan, the director of operations for four Domino’s locations — the one here, one in Whitehorse, one in Fort Nelson and one in Cold Lake, Alberta.
In return, health care workers have said they’ll make donations, including non-perishable food items, to the Terrace Churches Food Bank, he said.
“We’re so happy to find out that these kind gestures are continuing on,” Chan added.
He estimated that 275 local health care workers will be fed.
Mills Memorial has, following the direction of provincial health officials, cancelled all elective surgeries and has been freeing up beds in its wards in anticipation of being needed.
In addition to general acute care beds, the hospital also has an intensive care unit equipped with ventilators.
Northern Health and provincial health officials have also been in contact with local governments who have been identifying facilities that could be pressed into service if needed.
And in a local demonstration of public support for health care workers and others, a string of emergency service vehicles wound its way through streets on Saturday evening March 28.
Fire trucks from the Terrace Fire Department and the Thornhill Volunteer Fire Department, ambulances, the provincial sheriffs service and the local RCMP detachment, all with lights flashing, formed a lengthy procession.