Dublin City Schools is working to help provide much-needed supplies to health-care professionals and first responders amid the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
On March 30, the school district donated to OhioHealth Dublin Methodist Hospital 3,360 N95 masks that were in the district's warehouse.
Superintendent Todd Hoadley said the masks were stored in the warehouse for use in the health clinics that are in all 20 of the district's buildings.
Because students won't return to school buildings this school year, "we're just going to gather what we have," Hoadley said, and give those materials to those on the medical front lines.
Barbara Evert, vice president of medical affairs at Dublin Methodist Hospital, said the hospital is appreciative of the district's donation, which will help protect frontline caregivers, including nurses, physicians and respiratory and physical therapists.
The N95 mask is the protection of choice to prevent the spread of the coronavirus within hospital spaces, Evert said. The infection is highly contagious and transmitted by droplets spread via cough or sneeze, she said. The masks provide a seal around the face, preventing the droplets from reaching health-care providers.
"Quality masks are in great demand across the country, and we are constantly watching the supply versus the demand," Evert said. "To be able to add these donated masks from such a valued partner is really incredible and no doubt saves lives."
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine ordered districts to shut down public schools initially until April 6 and then until at least May 1 to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. On April 20, DeWine announced that districts' buildings would remain shut down for the end of the school year.
Hoadley said the district also plans to collect gloves from school buildings as well as more than 40 thermometers.
He said some of the material also would be donated first to Dublin police and fire personnel.
"This is just a way that we can help in this pandemic," he said.