A combination of local universities and trade unions have combined to donate a significant amount of N-95 masks to local hospitals who are trying to keep up with the dramatic spike in need for masks.
Cayuga Medical Center spokesperson John Turner confirmed that the Ithaca hospital had received a donation of 850 masks from the veterinarian's school at Cornell University, and is still accepting donations from anywhere. Borg Warner also donated 225 N-95 masks and 15,000 sanitizing wipes to CMC, according to Turner.
"Every hospital in the country is facing a shortage of masks," Turner said, further expressing his appreciate that members of the community with spare masks had been dropping them off and his hope that they would continue to do so.
Additionally, the Southern Tier Building Trades unions put a call out to their large network of local union chapters and were able to donate over 1,200 masks earlier today, with more potentially on the way.
"It happened pretty quickly, I was able to talk to Scott Stringer of the Bricklayers and they were able to turn over almost 70 masks, and that was only because they had to cut their training short by two or three weeks," the Bricklayers' International Union's Northeast Regional Training Director Bob Mion said. "Those masks would have been used during training time."
While such a donation might usually present a disadvantage for construction companies, Mion said the overall impact won't actually be that significant for the trades unions because, he suspects, construction work will soon slow and a number of sites will stop work entirely, also a result of the outbreak.
"We were glad that we could give something," Mion said. "1,200 masks would be used in a week, for us. My concern was for them to even approach a patient without a mask on puts them at jeopardy. [...] If we had two masks, they'd have taken them."