BALTIMORE (WJZ) — To help with the effort to get personal protective equipment to hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations, schools, every day citizens and hospitals themselves are trying to help.

With classes moved online and rotations grinding to a halt, medical students are finding ways to help get supplies in the hands of those fighting the coronavirus.

“With the mental load of having to worry about where to find supplies and when the next time is we can get supplies, it takes away from the time the doctors, health care workers and nurses are able to spend providing care,” Nicole Mair, a third-year medical student at the University of Maryland, said.

Mair is part of the group called the Baltimore Health Professionals Mutual Aid Cooperative. Medical students at Johns Hopkins and University of Maryland work together by collecting personal protective equipment like masks, gloves and hand sanitizer for the hospitals.

Mair said the need for donations is dire.

“If the stress is taken away, the time is taken away, they can spend more time doing their job,” Mair said.

With the growing number of COVID-19 cases across the state, there’s a growing need for hospital supplies.

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Roland Starr, a rehabilitation scientist at Sinai, said their 3D printer can make nearly 500 face masks a week.

“A face mask is the first line of defense,” Starr said. “It’s not the only thing you need, but it at least shields your face from your particulates that carry the virus.”

It’s something Mair said is critical in fighting the pandemic.

“That’s the one way that we have to protect from picking up one thing in one room and bringing it on ourselves,” Mair said.

The Baltimore Health Professionals Mutual Aid Cooperative are accepting unopened boxed of hand sanitizer, gloves and face masks.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Kelsey Kushner

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