GOLETA, Calif. - The Santa Barbara community is coming out in big numbers to donate needed supplies to Cottage Health.
Tuesday was the first day that a new Collection Center outside Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital was open for drive-through donations.
Cars and trucks continued to drive through Tuesday morning, some donating hundreds of gowns or masks, others donating single boxes found at home, leftover from recent wildfires.
“They’re taking care of us, so it’s a small thing that we can do to take care of them,” said Paulina Ospina after donating.
“It was a no brainer, we’re here to help the community any way we can, so this is one way of doing it,” said Kurt Russell of Habitat for Humanity of Southern Santa Barbara County, which donated 510 N-95 masks and 34 N-100 masks.
More than 5,000 masks were donated just in the first three hours.
“It’s remarkable,” Cottage Health CFO Brett Tande said Tuesday. “It really is. Santa Barbara’s just such a great community of people taking care of everyone.”
Cottage Health said in a statement Monday that it anticipates major supply challenges for face shields, eye shields, isolation gowns and masks as the COVID-19 outbreak worsens.
“We used to just use 25 N-95 masks a day,” Tande said. “We’ve recently been going through more than 600 [a day].”
Those needs will likely continue to grow.
“It’s day by day and hour by hour,” Tande said. “Really, it starts at four or five in the morning, trying to project out what we’ve been using, what we think will be coming in the hospital each day.”
The drop-off center outside Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with no definite end date.