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UWM faculty, researchers and staff donate personal protective equipment to health care workers

Credit: University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Facebook page

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Faculty, researchers and staff at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee came together to support health care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic by donating their personal protective equipment. 

According to a news release, with the UWM Police Department and University Safety and Assurances coordinating the collection, the university secured 31,300 gloves, nearly 900 masks (345 of which are N95 respirators, which the CDC notes are most capable of stopping bacteria and viruses), 125 pieces of eye protection, 20 gowns and nine hazmat suits. All are instrumental to help protect health workers and limit the spread of COVID-19.

The equipment went to the Milwaukee County Unified Emergency Operations Center on Wednesday afternoon. From there, the materials will be distributed to local hospitals and first responders in Milwaukee County.

UWM says the collection began March 25 and ran through March 31. On weekdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., people from UWM schools, colleges and other areas could drop off materials at the UWM Police Department office. Lt. Brian Switala said that because donations were not tracked, there is no way to know exactly which departments donated what. It was, he notes, a team effort by the university to give back to the community.

“We’re all really impressed with what UWM was able to do,” Switala said.

As COVID-19 spreads throughout the state and the nation, personal protective equipment for health care workers has become crucial as shortages abound. Donations such as these help alleviate the stress.

The UWM Police Department and University Safety and Assurances are thankful for all who donated.

“Without them, this wouldn’t be possible,” Switala said.

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