Community steps up to help address COVID-19; Distribution strengthens local response, healthcare support
Since COVID-19 arrived in Whatcom County and Whatcom Unified Command (WUC) activated a multi-jurisdictional agency as the coordinated approach to mitigating the spread, our community has demonstrated great compassion and resiliency.
WUC Incident Commanders noted that from March 8 to April 8, local organizations and community members have stepped up to provide essential protective personal equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers and first responders. In addition to PPE, WUC has also received and distributed tables, tents, sleeping pads/bags, personal hygiene items, food, portable toilets and handwash stations.
In one month, over 50,000 gloves and more than 17,000 isolation gowns have been collected and distributed.
Following guidelines issued by the state Department of Health, WUC has distributed PPE and supplies to over 85 organizations serving Whatcom County residents including: fire and emergency responders, law enforcement, nursing homes and assisted living facilities, the hospitals, doctors, public transportation, in-home care providers, shelters and others.
Distributed locally March 8 – April 8:
- 50,371 gloves
- 30,675 surgical, procedure masks
- 23,749 N95 respirators
- 17,368 isolation gowns
- 3,927 face shields, eye protection
- 974 respirator cartridges
- 574 half-face respirators
- 410 shoe covers
- 275 bouffant caps
- 31 touchless thermometers
“This generosity demonstrates our community’s resiliency, supporting one another and our vital healthcare partners as we all adapt and work to overcome obstacles,” said Jon Hutchings, WUC Incident commander. “With a shared goal of slowing the spread of COVID-19, everyone is doing what they can to ensure that those who need it most get the PPE that can keep them safe.”
Hutchings added that regardless of whether anyone donates, they are doing their part if they stay home. Some cannot stay home, as they are doing the essential work of maintaining utilities and infrastructure, as well as providing food, meal service and healthcare services.
To donate to the ongoing community response, please visit the donations webpage or email the donations branch. To participate as a volunteer, visit the volunteer page.
Lt. Claudia Murphy, PIO
Whatcom Unified Command – Joint Information Center
WUC_JIC@co.whatcom.wa.us or (360) 815-2701