St. Charles Health System is asking for the public’s help with donations of much-needed personal protective equipment (PPE).

Hospitals around the country are facing critical shortages of such supplies due to COVID-19 pandemic-related interruptions in manufacturing and distribution as well as a dramatic increase in global demand. As a result, St. Charles is actively working to both conserve and to acquire more protective equipment for its caregivers and patients.

“Our supplies are running critically low and there doesn’t appear to be much relief in sight. Our vendors are unable to deliver on our orders and the state’s stockpile is depleted,” said Iman Simmons, chief operating officer. “We are taking advantage of every opportunity we have to safely conserve PPE. But there’s simply no getting around the fact that we need more supplies—and we need them soon.”

Specifically, St. Charles is seeking the following:

N95 masks

NIOSH-approved respirators, including:

N95, N99, N100

P95, P99, P100

R95, R99, R10

Any type of surgical mask, including pediatric ear loop masks

Isolation gowns

Nitrile exam gloves

Hand sanitizer (any brand is fine, but cannot have glitter)

Rubbing alcohol

Pure aloe vera gel

Lactated ringers

Medical face shields

Full boxes of these items are preferable, but partial boxes can be accepted if clean.

“We are thankful for our incredible community partners in education who are helping to get the word out and managing drop-off locations for these critical supplies,” Simmons said.

Starting Friday and through March 27, donations can be dropped off on weekdays during local school free meals programs from 8 to 8:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. to noon

Sisters Elementary School, 611 E. Cascade Ave.