Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle announced today a new donation program to accept unused personal protective equipment (PPE) for first responders and medical staff.
The program will be overseen by the County’s Department of Emergency Management and Regional Security (EMRS). Logistics for the initiative will be managed by the County’s Department of Transportation and Highways (DoTH). Donated equipment will be distributed to municipalities, first responders and healthcare workers based on priority and need.
“We want to ensure that those in our community who are on the front lines of the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic have the protection they need to safely do their work,” President Preckwinkle said. “During this nationwide shortage of PPE, we are facilitating the collection and distribution of this urgently needed equipment.”
The County is asking closed hospitality, entertainment, educational and manufacturing facilities as well as other businesses that have PPE inventory currently not in use to donate those items so EMRS and DoTH can distribute them to facilities who most need them now.
Cook County is accepting eye protection such as face shields and goggles, nitrile (non-latex) gloves, surgical face masks, non-contact (infrared) thermometers, disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer and infection control kits. The County will also accept Tyvek or Tychem coveralls, shoes and boot coverings and gowns including surgical, isolation and personal protection.
All PPE should be in the manufacturer's original packaging and unopened. Cook County is unable to accept products not in their original packaging or homemade items. Anyone who would like to donate PPE or has any questions, should email email@example.com.
EMRS in conjunction with the County’s Department of Public Health has already distributed more than 64,000 N95 masks and close to 100,000 other critical supplies including surgical masks, gloves, gowns, Tyvek suits, shoe covers and germicidal wipes to 106 Cook County municipalities and an additional 20 County agencies.
The list of items accepted for donation may change based on the needs of healthcare professionals and first responders. PPE requests can be found here.
For all updates on Cook County’s response to COVID-19, visit https://www.cookcountyil.gov/service/information-covid-19.