MINNEAPOLIS — Medical facilities are still lacking the personal protective equipment (PPE) needed to protect staff from COVID-19.
Than Moore, an ER Physician Assistant, saw this need firsthand. That sparked an idea for him to start a local graduation gown drive, which has now grown into a nationwide drive called Gowns 4 Good.
According to Than, graduation gowns make a perfect PPE alternative due to their length, sleeves, and fluid resistant material. The gowns don’t need to be altered to be used, and can be reused multiple times after cleaning.
The current need for Minnesota is about 1,400 gowns, but more than 74,000 are requested from health care facilities nationwide. Groups and schools are encouraged to host a safe collection drive by placing a box in a visible, easily accessible location. Gowns can then be shipped directly to the facility in need after you fill out a donation form.
You can find current needs and additional information at the Gowns 4 Good website.
Here is a list of upcoming local drives:
- Drive-Through Collection Event: May 9, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. at Breck School (123 Ottawa Ave N, Golden Valley, Minnesota 55422)
Hosting a drive? Send your information to firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to our list.
Frequently Asked Questions
Have medical facilities confirmed they can use these? Yes, this organization was started by medical workers and they've received requests for over 63,000 actual needs.
Last week, Josten's said gowns were no longer needed but this article says something different. What's correct? There are two different gown needs. One is a medical-grade, sterile, surgical gown and the other is an isolation gown. Josten's has pivoted production to make medical-grade gowns while graduation gowns can still be used for isolation gowns for non-surgical needs. Medical facilities, nursing homes, and health providers have requested over 74,000 isolation gowns for an added layer of protection.
How are these gowns safe if someone donates that has been exposed to COVID-19? Each organization that signs up is asked to leave the gowns for 48-72 hours before using since the virus is thought to only last on surfaces for this time.