Toronto Humane Society donates protective equipment to frontline workers
TORONTO -- As the global shortage of masks and other personal protective equipment continues, the Toronto Humane Society is donating whatever it can to Toronto's healthcare workers.
"A lot of our programs aren't running right now, so we would like to donate it to people on the front lines that currently need it, such as the hospitals and paramedics and nurses," Kailie Bunyan, the shelter's rescue transport coordinator told CTV News Toronto.
This is being made possible, in part, due to donations from the public. Last week, the society put a call out to the public for hand-sewn masks.
"We wanted everyone to be creative, to be inspired, to pick up a needle and thread and sew some of these masks," spokesperson Hannah Sotropa said.
So far, Sotropa says people have dropped off more than 200 masks.
"So we're able to offer some of our medical supplies to those who are out there right now, the real heroes during this crisis."
A van load of gowns and masks will now make its way to St. Michael's Hospital mid-week.
"It feels really good to be able to help the community," Bunyan said.
Meanwhile, people who care for the Humane Society's animals will now be wearing hand-sewn masks whenever they're inside the building.
"This is an industry of individuals who are helping animals. But behind every animal story, at the end of every leash, there is a human that lies there. And so we are very, very excited to be able to offer some amount of support during this time of crisis," said Sotropa.
On Monday, Canada's Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam announced that the wearing of hand-sewn masks is "reasonable.”
"Wearing a non-medical mask, even if you have no symptoms, is an additional measure that you can take to protect others around you."
Citing new evidence, Tam said when social distancing is not possible, home-made masks can reduce the odds you'll spread infectious droplets to other people or surfaces.
"We are very blessed now that we have had so many donations," Sotropa said.
The Humane Society is still asking the public for more hand-sewn masks, saying the more they have, the more they can supply their staff and volunteers with.