The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics has put out an urgent plea for donations of new or used protective face shields for its employees.
The hospital is in Johnson County, where 32 of the 90 Iowans confirmed to have COVID-19 live.
Governor Kim Reynolds today said the state has ordered protective gear for Iowa health care workers from private companies and through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. A shipment is expected early this week.
“We’re dealing with a shortage all across the country and Iowa’s no exception,” Reynolds said in a news conference earlier this afternoon (listen to it here).
Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management director Joyce Flinn isn’t sure how many masks will be delivered to the state this week.
“Things are changing so quickly, I know we put in an order, but I honestly don’t remember the quantities in that order,” Flinn told reporters.
Medical supplies are being routed to health care providers in the 24 counties where COVID-19 cases have been confirmed, according to Flinn, and she said the Iowa National Guard, the Iowa DOT and the Department of Public Safety all have a role in distribution.
“As quickly as the product comes in, they determine where it’s going to go and it’s out the door as quickly as possible,” Flinn said.
Iowa hospitals have begun to delay elective surgeries to conserve masks, gloves, gowns and other medical supplies. UnityPoint Hospital in Cedar Rapids, in preparation for shortages, is asking volunteers to sew fabric face masks.