Chaffee County is experiencing shortages of medical personal protective equipment (PPE), as with other areas of the country, and today announced local donation drives in the next week to try to help alleviate the situation.

Dust Mask – courtesy Grainger

Chaffee County Public Health Director Andrea Carlstrom announced that on Friday, March 27 from 3-5 p.m., Chaffee County Public Health and Office of Emergency Management will be hosting a Personal Protective Equipment Drive at 448 East First Street (Touber Building in Salida) to collect sealed boxes of unused gloves, gowns, and masks to be used for healthcare and essential staff who must work throughout the COVID-19 crisis.

Disposable gloves – image courtesy Grainger

On Monday, March 30 from 2-4 p.m., there will be a PPE Drive at the Buena Vista Annex Building, 112 Linderman Avenue, collecting the same items.

“We have heard that there are many groups throughout the county that might have PPE to spare, such as auto mechanics, hair and nail salons, dental providers, and construction companies. Due to the likely shortage of PPE that will be needed to respond to those who fall ill from COVID-19, we are asking for donations that will then be distributed to healthcare workers and those providing essential services throughout our county.” Carlstrom said.

People with PPE will be instructed to drop off their PPE and continue driving to model social distancing practices. For the Salida event, drivers are instructed to drive through the parking lot at the C Street entrance of the Touber Building. Likewise, for the Buena Vista event, drivers are instructed to drive through the Linderman parking lot and drop their items off at the back door. There will be signage and staff to streamline the process. For questions, please contact Richard Atkins, Chaffee County Emergency Manager, at 719-207-2730.