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March 28, 2020 7:38 PM

Supporting local hospitals in the fight against COVID-19

Conestoga's campuses have been uncharacteristically quiet for the last two weeks as members of the college community teach, learn and work from home in adherence with Public Health guidelines aimed at arresting the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

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Equipment and supplies from the college are helping protect the health and safety of the broader community.

But there’s been a bevy of activity at the college’s Doon campus in Kitchener in recent days as equipment and supplies are gathered and prepared for delivery to local hospitals to help protect the health and safety of the broader community.

“These are extraordinary times, and we all need to step up and contribute to the greater good,” said President John Tibbits. “Sharing our resources to protect front-line workers and provide additional capacity for hospitals in this time of crisis is one of the ways that Conestoga is making a difference in the fight against this global pandemic.”

In addition to providing urgently needed N95 masks, gloves and other personal protective equipment, the college is also sharing ventilators, hospital and long-term care beds, stretchers, mattresses and a variety of care equipment that would otherwise be used to help students build the hands-on skills required for success in their future careers as health professionals.

The total value of the equipment and supplies provided by the college is estimated at approximately $2M.

A provincial distribution system has been developed to deploy ventilators to areas of most urgent need. The rest of the supplies will be shared among local hospitals, including Grand River and St. Mary’s in Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge Memorial and Guelph General.

Ayr-based company Stage Door Transportation has volunteered to provide the trucks, drivers and movers required to transport all the equipment and supplies to their destinations within the next few days.

“It’s quite wonderful to see the community coming together in this effort,” said Veronique Boscart, Executive Dean of Conestoga’s School of Health & Life Sciences. “It’s in times like this we really need to support each other.”

Conestoga’s School of Health & Life Sciences is a leader in innovative education, workforce development and applied research to meet community needs. With a broad range of programming, from pre-health through to certificates, diplomas, graduate certificates and degrees in health-related fields, the school provides education and training to approximately 2,300 full-time students each year and delivers in-service and continuing education to support the ongoing skills development of current health-care professionals.

For more information, visit www.conestoga.ca/health

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