Austin Community College (ACC) is assembling Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits to support regional healthcare workers and first responders during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
“This is a difficult time for everyone in our community. There are a lot of unknowns and a lot of fears. Now, more than ever, is the time for us to come together,” says Dr. Richard Rhodes, ACC president/CEO. “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.”
Most ACC classes will transition to online environments for the remainder of the semester when students return from the extended spring break on March 30. The change means PPE materials that were reserved for class labs are now in surplus at the college. Faculty began collecting the supplies Monday, March 23.
“When we learned about the shortages our healthcare workers were facing, our faculty and staff stepped up and asked ‘How can we help?’” says Dr. Gaye Lynn Scott, associate vice president of Academic Programs. “We use these supplies daily in our classes for learning purposes, but the community need is much greater right now.”
Hundreds of supplies are getting pulled together to prepare for donation. The college’s Pharmacy Technology program alone gathered approximately:
The college’s science programs estimate that they have approximately 65,000 gloves to donate. Inventory counts among other areas of the college are underway. The ACC Fashion Incubator also is exploring opportunities to design and create hand-sewn masks for donation.
For more information on ACC’s response to Coronavirus, visit austincc.edu/coronavirus.