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Gillian Lord, the faculty of medicine’s director of strategic planning and implementation. Photo: U of O Gazette

Faculties of medicine, health sciences, engineering, and science all pitched in

The faculties of medicine, health sciences, engineering, and science at the University of Ottawa have shipped 252 boxes of donated supplies to local hospitals to help them treat COVID-19 patients. 

The boxes held more than 263,000 gloves, over 25,000 facemasks, about 2,200 N-95 respirators, and “an abundance of boot/shoe covers, protective clothing, hand sanitizers, safety goggles, disinfecting wipes, sterile cotton-tipped applicators, and protective clothing,” the U of O wrote in a Gazette article on Tuesday.

The faculty of health sciences supplied two teaching ventilators, while the nursing program at La Cité collégiale added four ventilators.

Donations were collected, inventoried and packaged by the university’s common equipment and technical services team and others who are still on campus. U of O medical student volunteers also picked up donations across the city from over 110 small businesses and 70 organizations.

“We emailed and called about 1,000 small businesses,” medical student Jon Whelan said in the Gazette article. “Nail salons, tattoo parlours, dental clinics, veterinary clinics, massage therapy, acupuncture, physiotherapy, labs, museums and archives.”

The efforts were coordinated by Gillian Lord, the faculty of medicine’s director of strategic planning and implementation, along with Dr. Sharon Whiting, the faculty’s vice-dean of faculty affairs and hospital liaison. 

“The donations of (personal protective equipment) keep coming in and the emails of support as well,” Lord said in the Gazette article. “Our motivation is driven by the courage of the frontline healthcare providers, their extraordinary work and care for our community. They deserve a special thank you from us all.”

Other post-secondaries across the city have also pitched in. Both Carleton University and Algonquin College have made donations as well.

Those with supplies or equipment to contribute can contact COVIDdonations@toh.ca.

As of Thursday, there were 252 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa but none confirmed in the U of O community. Three people in Ottawa have died. Ottawa’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches urges everyone to remain home and only leave the house unless necessary, such as for a weekly grocery trip. 

Across the province, there have been 53 deaths from COVID-19 and at least 2,793 confirmed cases of the virus as of Thursday, with 831 labelled as resolved. 

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has declared a state of emergency and the province has closed all non-essential businesses. The province has now limited gatherings to no more than five people, with exceptions for some events. 

There have been at least 10,114 confirmed cases of the virus and 127 deaths across Canada.

Globally, COVID-19 has infected more than one million people and killed over 51,000 since emerging in China in December 2019. There have been over 210,000 recoveries from the virus.