AUSTIN, Texas — Austin Community College (ACC) is doing its part to get personal protective equipment (PPE) to local health care workers and first responders in need amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"We have hundreds of gloves, masks, shoe covers, hair covers and gowns in storage rooms. Our students and faculty won’t be able to use those this semester, but our healthcare workers can – and they need them. We’re in a unique position to help," said. Dr. Richard Rhodes, ACC president and CEO.
As most ACC classes will transition online starting on March 30, PPE materials that were reserved for class labs are now in surplus at the college. ACC faculty began collecting the supplies on Monday to assemble into PPE kits.
RELATED: Austin Community College, St. Edward's University moving classes online for remainder of spring semester
"When we learned about the shortages our health care workers were facing, our faculty and staff stepped up and asked, 'How can we help?'" said Dr. Gaye Lynn Scott, the associate vice president of academic programs for ACC. "We use these supplies daily in our classes for learning purposes, but the community need is much greater right now."
ACC said hundreds of supplies are being gathered to prepare for donation. ACC's Pharmacy Technology Program alone gathered approximately 2,000 pairs of gloves, eight cases of shoe covers, four cases of hair covers, 500 gowns and hundreds of masks. ACC's science programs estimate they have approximately 65,000 gloves to donate and inventory counts among other areas of the college are underway.
Additionally, the ACC Fashion Incubator is exploring opportunities to design and create hand-sewn masks for donation.
MORE CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE:
- Coronavirus: Gov. Abbott orders hospitals to submit daily reports on bed capacity, COVID-19 testing
- Coronavirus updates in Central Texas: 715 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Texas; 11 related deaths, governor says
- If Texans do not stay home, hospital beds will overflow, Austin health authority says
- List: Here's what's open during the order to stay home
- Travis, Williamson counties issue stay-at-home order
- Williamson County orders residents to 'stay safe, stay home'
- Allergies, cold, flu or COVID-19? High allergy counts have Austinites questioning which one they have