Seneca College has offered aid to local hospitals in the form of a donation, which included more than 900 kg of medical supplies.
Students and employees alike donated ventilators, surgical gowns, N95 respirator masks and mask fit testers, hand sanitizers, and other cleaning supplies.
The supplies are being distributed between three GTA hospitals – Southlake Regional Health Centre, North York General, and Markham Stouffville Hospital.
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One of the last-minute deliveries, sent to Southlake Regional, was made on Friday, before Seneca campuses closed by a small team of students and employees at King Campus.
The others will go out to North York General and Markham Stouffville this week.
The post-secondary institution made the donation in response to appeals by the Ontario Medical Association and the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario that emphasized the need for personal protective equipment (PPE) for those on the frontline.
“We have this equipment in our programs, so it was basically, ‘we have the stuff, let’s step up,’” said Professor Tania Killian with the School of Nursing, in a release.
“Whenever we can support each other, we do, and Canadians are really good at stepping up.”
Killian worked as a frontline nurse with patients during SARS, and also as a quarantine officer.
“There’s panic and people are terrified, but for me, this is not as scary as SARS, which we knew very little of at the time,” she said.
“That being said, it is still a scary time and it’s my job to help people.”
The equipment and supplies that were donated are typically used for on-campus student training in the Animal Health, Biological Sciences and Applied Chemistry, Fire Protection Engineering Technology and Environmental and Civil Engineering Technology.
Of course, now that classes have all been moved online, these items are no longer needed on campus.
Students, meanwhile, are equipped with their own lab kits, which were purchased at the semester’s start. Instructional videos have been posted online, which guide them through at-home practice sessions.
The King Campus donation was aided by lab technicians as well as custodial staff, security guards and contractors, who helped move enough boxes to fill a pickup truck, a minivan, and two cars.
“There were only a few of us left on campus on Friday, but everybody that was at King that day came out and helped us move,” Killian said. “It was amazing.”
Also donating supplies to local hospitals are the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering Technology and the Faculty of Continuing Education & Training.
Organized by Maria May, Dean, Faculty of Applied Arts & Health Sciences, 1,600 N95 masks, 100 boxes of nitrile gloves, an N95 mast fit tester and chemical products that can help clean surfaces are being donated to North York General Hospital and Markham Stouffville Hospital this week.