MUSCATINE, Iowa – Masks and gloves are two items that the environmental laboratory at the Water and Resource Recovery Facility (WRRF) need on a daily basis but when the first whispers of a potential virus spread appeared, the City of Muscatine facility ordered extra masks and gloves.
“We have an individual on staff that is very good at ordering ahead when there is a need,” Jon Koch, WRRF Director, said. “And she proved once again that a lot of people can benefit with just a little foresight.”
Those extra masks and gloves will now benefit local health care providers and health care facilities responding to COVID-19.
Patti Fuller-Bloechl, WRRF chemist and lab supervisor, orders Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for the facility. She was quick to order extra masks and gloves when the virus began to spread.
“She is very good at keeping us well stocked,” Jon Koch, WRRF Director, said. “And she wanted to make sure that our staff is well protected.”
A total of 600 gloves in three sizes and 250 face masks will be donated by the Muscatine Environmental Laboratory at the WRRF.
The WRRF staff, including the Muscatine Environmental Laboratory, is in the business of public health, ensuring that viruses and bacteria in our wastewater are not discharged into the Mississippi River, do not make essential service staff sick, and that the WRRF is in continuous operation.
“We are ready to help our front-line health service providers stay safe during this crisis and we will continue to ensure that contaminated wastewater coming from resident’s homes does not make a bad situation worse,” Koch said.
Local businesses and organizations are urged to donate personal protective equipment, or PPE, by contacting Trinity Muscatine Public Health, 1609 Cedar St., Muscatine. Please call 563-263-0122 to find out the process for donating PPE’s. Businesses, organizations, or individuals can also contact Brian Wright, Muscatine County Emergency Management Coordinator at 563-288-3909 to find out more.
The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) is encouraging Iowa businesses and organizations to donate extra personal protective equipment to assist health care providers and health care facilities responding to COVID-19.
"This an unprecedented public health disaster, and stocks of personal protective equipment for health care providers are being used rapidly," said Ken Sharp, division director of Acute Disease Prevention, Emergency Response and Environmental Health. "Any organizations that have extra PPE supplies that aren’t immediately needed should consider donating them to help those on the front line of this disease."
Any type of health care PPE will be welcomed, especially gloves, gowns, eye protection, and masks. Local public health and local emergency management officials will work to address needs locally and beyond.