The outpouring of support has been great, but the need is not over. Allina Health extended their plea for the public to donate personal protective equipment (PPE) to their hospitals across Minnesota and western Wisconsin. That includes Owatonna Hospital and District One Hospital in Faribault.

In a news release Allina Health reports that over 200,000 pieces of PPE have been donated since the initial request was made. The original plea was to expire April 5. Allina Health President and CEO, Dr. Penny Wheeler says in the release, "We are very grateful for the generosity and expressions of support from the community. We anticipate our needs for donations will continue throughout the course of this pandemic so have extended the call for donations."

Owatonna businesses have responded to the request in a big way. Black Forest Ltd and Cybex made a donation of hundreds of N95 masks early in the drive. Life Fitness/Cybex employees are now sewing hundreds of face masks.

Poly Plastics, FoamCraft Packaging, Cindy's Tailoring, and the Owatonna Chamber of Commerce worked together to create 3-D face shields as well. Members of the general public have also been sewing masks and delivering them to the healthcare campus. The Allina Health website has instructions for sewing masks for experienced people and for the beginner.

In addition to masks, exam gloves, safety glasses, isolation gowns, and shoe covers are among the other items needed. See a full list in the Allina Health news release.

Allina also indicates that "many individuals and businesses wish to donate food to Allina Health staff members." They have set up an online form for businesses interested in making a food donation.

READ MORE: 20 Inspiring Minnesota Stories From the Coronavirus Pandemic



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