Personal protective equipment is vital in the ongoing efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Healthcare workers need medical-grade PPE to protect patients and themselves from contracting the virus and potentially spreading it to others. With the United States approaching seven million cases and the worldwide total hitting 31 million, many medical facilities have seen shortages of vital protective equipment. These are three ways you can help combat the global shortage of PPE. 

1. Only Use Medical Grade Gloves If You Need to

Disposable gloves are useful for a variety of situations, from protecting your hands while doing household cleaning to avoiding contamination while preparing food. Disposable gloves come in several varieties, each of which were intended for different tasks. Most household tasks can be performed with a simple pair of latex, nitrile or vinyl gloves that can be purchased at major retail outlets. Stronger protection may be needed for tasks that involve handling chemicals or other dangerous substances. However, medical grade gloves United States should be reserved only for use in medical situations that require them.

2. Do Not Wear Surgical Masks or N95 Respirators

In the early stages of the pandemic, many people thought they needed an N95 respirator or surgical mask to protect themselves from contracting the coronavirus. However, CDC guidelines recommend that unless you are doing a job that specifically requires one, you not wear a surgical mask or N95 respirator for coronavirus protection. N95 and surgical masks provide a higher level of filtration, needed to protect healthcare workers from contracting the virus from infected patients. Without access to this equipment, healthcare workers are at a higher risk of contracting the virus. However, non-surgical disposable and cloth masks, provide substantial protection against transmitting the virus, which is helpful in slowing the spread. For everyday use, purchase non-surgical disposable or cloth masks or make your own

3. Donate Your Time, Supplies or Money

If you are good at sewing or have a 3D printer, you can help out by making cloth face coverings, protective gowns and face shields at home and donating them to those in need. If you have a large stock of N95 respirators that you can do without, consider donating them. Make a monetary donation to an organization or local healthcare facility to purchase supplies.

The world is facing many unprecedented challenges during the current global pandemic. These are three of the ways you can help frontline workers stay safe.

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