Doctors and nurses are reporting surgical masks and other personal protective equipment are running low at some facilities, and they are being asked to reuse supplies that are normally discarded after one use.
Dr. Alison Cooke, assistant chief of hospital medicine for Kaiser Permanente-San Francisco, warned recently that her institution had less than a week’s supply of medical masks for doctors and nurses. “If you have any masks or safety goggles at home, please consider giving them to your nurse and doctor neighbors,” she wrote on the neighborhood social networking site Nextdoor.
Officials are releasing personal protective equipment — or PPE — from the Strategic National Stockpile, and manufacturers like Honeywell and 3M have boosted production of critical medical supplies.
But for now, that’s not enough. So charities, corporations and ordinary Americans are stepping up, donating everything from N95 masks to hospital gowns, disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer. Californians may be especially well-stocked at home because of dealing with wildfire smoke in recent years, and some items are common in earthquake kits.
GetUsPPE.org is connecting PPE donors with facilities and groups in need nationwide.
Donation Opportunities KQED Has Confirmed:
- Alameda Health System - Seeking PPE supplies. Drop off at Fairmont Campus, Central Supply Service, 15400 Foothill Blvd., San Leandro, CA 94578. Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Central Supply Service is located between Building E and the cafeteria. For additional details or to make a monetary donation please email AHSF.email@example.com or call 510-271-2500.
- Alto Pharmacy - (Donation website) Seeking masks (N95, surgical), disposable gloves, hand sanitizer, disinfectants, disinfectant wipes, goggles. Request a donation pickup and someone will be in touch.
- Asian Health Services — Seeking non-sterile gloves, goggles, face shields (3/4 length or full length), hand sanitizer, surgical masks, wipes and gowns. Donations may be mailed to Asian Health Services, 101 8th St., Suite 100, Oakland, CA 94607 Attn: Vicky Mak or drop off between Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you are dropping off items, please contact Vicky Mak at 510-735-3145, and the staff will come out to get the donations.
- City of Berkeley — Seeking N95 (expired accepted), masks, gowns, gloves, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and sprays, face shields, shoe covers, goggles/eye protection, Tyvek coveralls, touchless tympanic thermometers, new digital ear thermometer probe covers, new homemade cloth face masks. Fill out Berkeley's supplies donation form and they will follow up with next steps.
- Contra Costa County — Seeking eye protection, antibacterial wipes (no baby wipes), unopened boxes of N95 and surgical masks, medical gowns. Donation centers will be open Monday - Friday, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Questions? Call 844-729-8410.
- West Contra Costa County: 151 Linus Pauling Dr., Hercules
- Central Contra Costa County: 1750 Oak Park Blvd., Pleasant Hill
- East Contra Costa County: 4545 Delta Fair Blvd., Antioch
- Disability Justice Culture Club — Seeking masks for distribution to disabled, unhoused, poor and other highly vulnerable people. Hand-sewn masks accepted. Drop-off location is near 87th and Bancroft avenues in Oakland. Please call in advance to arrange drop-off day/time and get the address: 301-741-6186.
- El Camino Health — Seeking new, unopened gloves, isolation gowns, hard goggles, eye shields, shoe covers, nurse caps, germicidal disinfecting surface wipes, Clorox disinfecting wipes, masks. Please call the foundation at 650-940-7154 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to make a donation.
- Good Samaritan Hospital — Seeking masks (N95, surgical), disposable gloves, goggles, eye shields, industrial soap, antibacterial/disinfectant wipes. If you or your organization would like to make a donation, contact Susan Lauer, email@example.com, 408-559-2344.
- Hospice by the Bay — (Donation website) Seeking non-vented googles, face shields, hand sanitizer, masks (N95, surgical, isolation), gowns. Donations can be mailed or dropped off Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Larkspur: Hospice by the Bay, 17 E. Sir Francis Drake Blvd., Larkspur, CA 94939, Attention: PPE Donation
- Sonoma: Hospice by the Bay, 355 West Napa St., Suite B, Sonoma, CA 95476, Attention: PPE Donation
- San Francisco: Hospice by the Bay, 180 Redwood St., Suite 350, San Francisco, CA 94102, Attention: PPE Donation
If you are dropping off donations, please knock or use the intercom. A staff member will come out to accept your donation. If you have an unusually large donation please call 415-927-2273.
- John Muir Health — Seeking goggles (non-vented), face shields, hand sanitizer, masks (N95, surgical and isolation), isolation or surgical gowns, disinfecting wipes, eye shields, CAPR/PAPR machines and disposables. Drop off available at John Muir Health, Walnut Creek Medical Center, 175 La Casa Via, Walnut Creek, CA 94598, 8 a.m.- 6 p.m. daily. Questions or large donations? JMHdonations@johnmuirhealth.com.
- Kaiser Permanente Oakland — Seeking goggles (non-vented), face shields, hand sanitizer, masks (N95, surgical and isolation), Isolation or surgical gowns, Clorox or Sani-cloth wipes. Donations can be mailed to Kaiser Permanente, 275 West MacArthur Blvd., Oakland, CA 94611, Attention: Hospital Command Center. Drop off available at the Oakland Medical Center, 275 West MacArthur Blvd., Oakland, Monday - Friday: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. It is a curb-side drop off along side the Oakland Hospital between Howe Street and Piedmont Avenue. A staff member will be present to accept your donation. If you have a large amount of goods to donate or need to make arrangements after hours call 510-545-3446.
- Kaiser Permanente Richmond — Seeking goggles (non-vented), face shields, hand sanitizer, masks (N95, surgical and isolation), Isolation or surgical gowns, Clorox or Sani-cloth wipes. Drop off available at the Richmond Medical Center, 325 Harbour Way, Parking Lot, Richmond, Monday - Friday: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. (Across from the Medical Center @ 901 Nevin Ave.) If you have a large amount of goods to donate or need to make arrangements after hours call 510-307-3094.
- Kaiser Permanente San Francisco — Seeking goggles, face shields, hand sanitizer, masks (N95, surgical, and isolation masks), isolation or surgical gowns and wipes. Donations may be mailed to Kaiser Permanente, 2130 O'Farrell St., San Francisco, CA 94115 Attn: Hospital Command Center, or dropped off at the loading dock Monday to Friday 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m at the address above. If you are dropping off donations, please call 415-833-2593 and a staff member will come to accept the donation. If you need to make arrangements after the loading dock closes at 2:30 p.m., contact the hospital operator at 415-833-2000 and you will be contacted within 24 hours to schedule a delivery.
- Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara — Seeking unopened packages of goggles, face shields, hand sanitizer, masks (N95, surgical, and isolation masks), isolation or surgical gowns, swabs, disinfectants and wipes. Donations may be dropped off to the greeter table at the Homestead Hospital Entrance near ASU and Valet, 700 Lawrence Expy, Santa Clara, CA 95051, Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Call 408-851-0660 and a staff member will come out to accept your donation. Print and fill out this form.
- Mills-Peninsula Medical Center — Seeking N95 masks, surgical masks, face shields, goggles, gowns, and nitrile gloves. Please bring them to the hospital front entrance between 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. - noon on weekends. 1501 Trousdale Dr., Burlingame, CA 94010
- Mission Neighborhood Health Center — Seeking masks (surgical, procedural, or N-95 masks for both adults and children), face shields, goggles, gowns, hand sanitizer, and wipes. Donations can be mailed to Mission Neighborhood Health Center, 240 Shotwell Street, San Francisco, CA 94110, Attn: Stephanie Furtado. Donations can be dropped off Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. To coordinate dropping off items, or if you have any questions, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- North East Medical Services (NEMS) — Seeking gloves, goggles, face shields, hand sanitizer, surgical masks, N95 masks, wipes and gowns. Donations may be mailed to NEMS, 2171 Junipero Serra Blvd. Suite 310, Daly City, CA 94014 Attn: Andrey Chow. Questions? 415-352-5004 or email@example.com. If you would like to drop off items at one of their clinics, please contact Andrey Chow to arrange for drop off during the week.
- City of Oakland — Seeking new masks in sealed packages. Drop in a book drop at Oakland Public Library's Main Branch at 125 14th St., Oakland.
- Palo Alto Medical Foundation — Seeking N95 masks, surgical masks, goggles, face shields, gloves and other supplies. Drop off donations Monday - Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the following locations.
- San Carlos: Palo Alto Medical Foundation, 301 Industrial Road
- Palo Alto: Palo Alto Medical Foundation, 795 El Camino Real
For larger donations please drop off at: Palo Alto Medical Foundation Warehouse, 3544 Bassett St. in Santa Clara. Donations can be made between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday to Friday. Questions? Email Luis Alvarez at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 844-987-6099.
- San Francisco Center for Jewish Living — Seeking unopened and unused masks, gloves, protective goggles, gowns, swabs and viral transport. Accepting donations at 302 Silver Ave. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Questions? Email PPE@sfcjl.org or call 415-469-2130.
- San Mateo County — Seeking nitrile gloves, surgical masks, N95 masks, surgical gowns, fluid resistant gowns and other PPE. Donations can be dropped off at Maple Street Correctional Center, 1300 Maple St., Redwood City. Look for the “Donations” signs in the front parking lot where there will be staffers available to collect your donation from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Santa Clara Valley Medical Foundation — (Donation website) Seeking N95 masks, hand sanitizer, gloves, goggles and more. Full list here. Donations can be delivered between the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 2400 Clove Dr., San Jose (on the campus of Santa Clara Valley Medical Center). Please call 408-885-5299 before delivery. Questions? Call 408-885-5299 or email email@example.com.
- Stanford Health Care in Redwood City and Livermore — (Donation website) Seeking masks, wipes, gowns, hand sanitizer and more. Donations may be dropped off in person or mailed.
- Redwood City: 550 Broadway St., 7 days a week, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
- Livermore: 1119 E Stanley Blvd., Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Mail: Stanford Health Care, Attention: Supply Donations Center, 820 Quarry Rd. Extension, Palo Alto, CA 94304.
- Sutter Health — Seeking N95 masks, powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR) hoods, surgical and procedural masks, isolation gowns, paper masks, paper protective gowns, protective glasses/goggles, face shields, painters smocks (impermeable). Looking for new items in original packaging. Contact local Sutter affiliates or call 1-844-987-6099.
- University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) - (Donation website) Seeking N95 masks, gloves, goggles, face shields and other supplies. UCSF accepting donations at the following locations from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. beginning on March 23:
- UCSF Mount Zion Medical Center: 1600 Divisadero St., San Francisco, Semicircle driveway
- UCSF Mission Center Building: 1855 Folsom St., San Francisco, Entrance in the parking lot on Harrison at 15th Street
- UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland: 747 52nd St., Oakland, Ambassador Desk
- #GetMePPE Bay Area — Seeking N95 masks, gloves, eye protection. This volunteer group is donating to several Bay Area health care facilities, including Highland Hospital, Kaiser and UCSF. Volunteers are available for pick up and drop off. Fill out this form and they'll be in touch.
- GetUsPPE.org - Website connecting those in need of PPE with donors nationwide. Includes many Bay Area options.
- Mask-Match.com — helping match front-line health care workers with free N95 masks that people have in their homes.
- DonatePPE.org — a repository of Bay Area hospitals and their protocol for accepting donations.
Have something to add to the list? Let us know firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why is there such a shortage of face masks and other protective gear?
Fear of COVID-19 is generating demand that far outstrips supply. Because no one has immunity to the novel coronavirus, doctors and nurses are exercising caution by wearing protective gear when they see almost any patient with respiratory symptoms or a fever ― most of whom don’t have COVID-19.
At the same time, panic-buying of N95 face masks and other gear has reduced available supplies. Some people have even stolen surgical masks and hand sanitizer from clinics.
The supply chain for medical equipment relies heavily on factories overseas — mostly in China and Taiwan ― increasingly commandeered by governments for domestic use. And shortages of the fabric and other raw materials used to make masks are beginning to be a problem. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued bleak guidance for hospitals facing shortages, including using homemade masks. The Deaconess Health System in Indiana recently asked the public to sew and donate masks that meet CDC protocols, as did Providence hospitals in Washington state.
California Healthline contributed to this report. Read their full story: With Medical Safety Gear Scarce, People Are Stepping Up. Here’s Help On Ways To Help.