Bristol Health asking public to help supply PPE equipment, limiting coronavirus testing site hours due to kit shortage


BRISTOL, Conn. (WTNH) — Bristol Hospital says it needs more personal protective equipment and coronavirus test kits.

The hospital says it needs more isolation gowns, possibly as many as 600/day during the projected COVID-19 surge.

Workers say they’ve gotten a lot of help with good samaritans making masks, but now they are asking people at home to send them gowns made of thick material that go up to the wrist and tie in the back.

They also need more pappers (machine ventilated hoods used to operate on COVID patients). They have not been able to find suppliers for either.

Nancy LaMonica, R.N. at Bristol Hospital explained that the pappers are like parachute material, “but we can’t get them in.

Doctor Mark Savage at Bristol Hospital added, “this is a very high level protection.” Doctors need it when operating on a coronavirus patient because they are looking “right into lungs of person who could be infected with this process.”

Additionally, the hospital is hoping to get more coronavirus testing kits. Bristol Health says there continues to be a national shortage of testing kits so they are making changes to make the tests they have last longer.

As a result of the shortage, the hospital says it will limit the number of tests it does per day and close the testing site on Sundays.

Bristol has been at the forefront of drive-through testing, opening one of the first sties in the state and getting in large shipments of testing kits.

Meanwhile, Trinity Health, which runs Saint Francis Hospital, says they are carefully allocating their daily tests “in order to address the challenges labs are facing surrounding testing capacity and turnaround time” at both the local and national labs it sends the swabs to. 

Saint Francis’ testing site is open Monday to Saturday. Both centers require patients to present a doctor’s order and ID.

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