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Wells College donates PPE to help those on frontline of COVID-19 pandemic

When Cayuga County’s Emergency Services office reached out to local businesses seeking donations of personal protective equipment (PPE) to help those in our community serving on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic, multiple departments on the Wells College campus jumped at the chance to do their part.

As there are no athletic events or in-person classes taking place on the Wells College campus for the remainder of the semester, our Biological & Chemical Sciences faculty and athletic training staff pooled their resources. The result? A donation of 27 boxes of gloves and 14 medical masks to help our local first responders.

“In the first weeks of the lockdown, we were hearing news reports of hospitals in New York running low of critical supplies,” said Professor of Chemistry Christopher Bailey, who chairs the Biological & Chemical Sciences (BCS) program. “[Assistant Professor] Leah Elliott, one of our biologists, contacted me and said that she had a large number of examination gloves in her lab, and knew where others were located. I was able to collect 21 boxes of gloves and, on behalf of the Biological and Chemical Sciences major programs, donate them to our local medical providers in Auburn,” Professor Bailey added.

The PPE supplies will be distributed to first responders and medical facilities, including local hospitals and nursing homes, said Harry Sherman, deputy director of emergency services for Cayuga County. He added that numerous other businesses and individuals had made similar donations following a call for supplies from the county. “I can’t even find a word for it,” he said. “It’s very good for us, and very helpful for our efforts.”

To date, Cayuga County has confirmed 33 cases of COVID-19 within the county—and nearly 85% of those individuals are in their 30s or younger, according to the Auburn Citizen newspaper. At present, there are 27 people in mandatory isolation and 36 in mandatory quarantine.

“It felt good to give valuable items to those who need them most,” said Zach VanNostrand, the College’s athletic trainer, who delivered the items to the county last week.

The College sends its thanks and gratitude to all fire and rescue, law enforcement and medical staff in our community for all of their hard work and dedication in fighting the pandemic. If you would like to make a similar donation to Cayuga County, please call Harry Sherman at 315.702.7643.