As medical professionals face shortages of personal protection devices such as face masks, Owatonna businesses and individuals are stepping up with donations. Dr. Brian Bunkers with the Allina Healthcare Owatonna Hospital/Mayo Clinic Health System campus accepted a donation of 200 masks Monday morning from Black Forest Ltd of Owatonna. Cybex also donated 200 of the N95 masks.

Bunkers said, "We're right on the front end of this COVID-19 epidemic. It is absolutely not a stretch to say this donation could really save someone's life. Whether that be a staff member working or a staff preventing it from spreading to another person. We are very appreciative of you thinking of us at our healthcare campus. We'll share these across our campus, both on the hospital side and on the clinic side."

Roy Koenig/Townsquare Media

Bunkers also indicated mask donations are coming in from multiple sources, "An unbelievable commitment from our community, really thank you. I should also add that this message is getting out. We had Cybex drop off 200 masks as well. We've had some of our community members sewing masks."

Bunkers said the Federal Drug Administration has relaxed some regulations governing masks, increasing the number of masks that will meet standards.

Joe Effert with Black Forest said, "It's the least we can do as a company. We had these laying around as we recently switched to a whole new respirator in our operation. To work with our staff, it was a no-brainer when I said, 'should we donate these?' They're all happy to participate. So on behalf of Black Forest and everybody there, we're thrilled that we are able to help out."

Black Forest is a recognition products business.

Bunkers also recommended that people take their own temperature a couple of times a day. If it is 100.4 degrees or higher, they should stay home. He suggested people stay home if at all possible and work from home if they can. He said if someone feels they need to be seen by a medical profession, please call first.