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News » Local News

A Plea for PPE

St. Charles taps school lunch sites as drop spots for personal protective equipment

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As a global pandemic rages on, its myriad effects—beyond more cases of COVID-19—are being felt right here at home. One of those effects: The global shortage of personal protective equipment used by health care workers, first responders and more. Here in Central Oregon, it has the local hospital system very concerned.

Thursday evening, St. Charles Health System put out a call, asking the public to donate certain types of personal protective equipment, often called PPE, they may have on hand. That includes preferably full, clean boxes of:

-N95 masks
-NIOSH-approved respirators, including: N95, N99, N100 P95, P99, P100 R95, R99, R10
-Any type of surgical mask, including pediatric ear loop masks
-Isolation gowns
-Nitrile exam gloves
-Hand sanitizer (any brand is fine, but cannot have glitter)
-Rubbing alcohol
-Pure aloe vera gel
-Lactated ringers
-Medical face shields



A shortage of Personal Protective Equipment worldwide has resulted in critical shortage in Central Oregon, too—including shortages of N95 masks, gowns and nitrile exam gloves. - CDC GLOBAL, FLICKR
  • CDC Global, Flickr
  • A shortage of Personal Protective Equipment worldwide has resulted in critical shortage in Central Oregon, too—including shortages of N95 masks, gowns and nitrile exam gloves.

While the number of reported cases remains at six in Deschutes County Thursday, the need for PPE extends beyond those treating patients with COVID-19. 
"Hospitals around the country are facing critical shortages of such supplies due to COVID-19 pandemic-related interruptions in manufacturing and distribution as well as a dramatic increase in global demand," St. Charles' statement read. "As a result, St. Charles is actively working to both conserve and to acquire more protective equipment for its caregivers and patients."

At a briefing in early March, St. Charles Health System Public Information Officer Lisa Goodman said the health system had recently purchased a stockpile of PPE, in anticipation of supply chain disruptions due to COVID-19 in China.

With those disruptions still very much the reality, St. Charles and other hospital systems are having to dig deeper. On Wednesday, Gov. Kate Brown issued an order for veterinarians, dentists and other health care workers at all Oregon hospitals and outpatient clinics and providers to cease non-emergency procedures in order to preserve more PPE for those treating COVID-19. Those not treating COVID-19 are being asked to donate their supplies.

Starting Friday and through March 27, donations can be dropped off on weekdays during local school’s free meals programs at specified hours at the following sites:

Friday, March 20


Bend area From 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.:


Ensworth Elementary School, 2150 NE Dagget Lane
Sky View Middle School, 63555 18th St.
Bend Senior High School, 230 NE 6th St.
Elk Meadow Elementary School, 60880 Brookswood Blvd.

-La Pine area From 10:30 to 11:30 a.m

La Pine High School, 51633 Coach Road

-Prineville area From noon to 1 p.m.

Crook County School District, Pioneer South, 641 E First St.

-Redmond area From 10 a.m. to noon

Redmond Fire Station, 341 NW Dogwood Ave.

-Sisters area From 8 to 8:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. to noon


Sisters Elementary School, 611 E. Cascade Ave.

Monday, March 23 – Friday, March 27 (Spring Break)



-Bend area From 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.:

Bend Senior High School, 230 NE 6th St.

-La Pine area From 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

La Pine High School, 51633 Coach Road, La Pine

-Prineville area From noon to 1 p.m.

Crook County School District, Pioneer South, 641 E First St.

-Redmond area From 10 a.m. to noon

Redmond Fire Station, 341 NW Dogwood Ave.

St. Charles asks that people do not drop off supplies at St. Charles hospitals and clinics, (where visitor access is not allowed at the present time anyway).




This story will be updated.


Check out our Coronavirus HQ for all our COVID-19 coverage. 

About The Author

Nicole Vulcan

Nicole Vulcan has been editor of the Source since 2016. (Blame her for everything since then.) Favorite car: A Trek commuter bike. Favorite cat: An adopted dog who looks like a Jedi master. Favorite things, besides responding to your comments: Downton Abbey re-runs, Aretha Franklin albums, and pink wine.

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