» COMPLETE COVERAGE: Coronavirus in Georgia
Health systems have confronted shortages of coronavirus tests and vital protective gear, such as N95 respirators masks, face shields and protective gowns. In Albany, the Phoebe Putney Health System have had employees and volunteers sew cloth masks to cover their N95 respirators to extend the masks' lifespans, and even posted templates online for volunteers to sew masks from home.
Furloughed theater workers, apparel companies and even mattress-makers have shifted production to make protective gear for frontline workers.
In a news release, the university system said public safety and emergency management crews at all 26 public institutions are inventorying their supplies, which typically are used by campus maintenance, researchers, health clinics and nursing programs. DPH and the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA) will then identify where in the state products are needed.
“Across our state, Georgians are working tirelessly to coordinate efforts in our fight against COVID-19,” Kemp said in the release. “I applaud the University System of Georgia for taking action to keep our health care workforce and communities safe and healthy in the weeks ahead. We are all in this fight together.”
Goods identified so far also include medical gowns and other coverings for hair and shoes, goggles and face shields, sanitizers and thermometers.
The university system, which includes the University of Georgia, Georgia Tech and Georgia State, shifted from on-campus instruction to online learning in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
“The University System of Georgia and our 26 institutions will continue to do all we can to support our healthcare workers at the frontlines of this fight,” Chancellor Steve Wrigley said in the release.
The release also said the system also is working with the state to expand testing capacity for the coronavirus outbreak.