June Chiaia Logie of Easton wants everyone to know about a State of Connecticut initiative to collect donations of personal protective equipment  (PPE) for health care workers and first responders. And she wants them to know about it and donate now.

Logie is acutely aware of the critical shortage of PPE in her role as a physical therapist and as an informed citizen. As the mother of two young nurses on the front lines of treating patients who are sickened with COVID-19, she also has a personal reason to assertively take up the charge and seek donations.

Katie Logie, 25, and Carly Logie, 24, both work as cardiac care nurses at Yale-New Haven Hospital which has transformed its care to accommodate the growing number of COVID-19 patients, whose numbers are expected to rise precipitously in the coming weeks as the disease spreads and ravages the state and nation.

“Cardiac nurses have seen their floors changed from cardiac care to floors that take COVID-19 patients as they tool up for the onslaught of what’s coming,” Logie said. “The state is overwrought with the need for PPEs. They have a huge undertaking.” With the situation expected to peak in the coming  weeks, Logie said she wants the hospitals and first responders to be prepared. “I want my kids and all of them to be OK.”

Logie emphasized how quickly the situation will go from bad to worse if our essential healthcare professionals contract COVID-19. “We need to get people to donate and to make sure to get the information to them,” Logie said. “There’s not enough PPEs to go around for health care workers, police, fire and EMS workers, and they need them right this minute. Which is why I’m so adamant about getting them into the hands of people right now.”

Logie said that people in many professions, from podiatrists, physical therapists, chiropractors, and massage therapists, to nail salons and auto body shops have PPEs, many of which are sitting untouched at businesses now closed due to Governor Ned Lamont’s “Stay Safe, Stay Home” executive order.

At the direction of Lamont and the Connecticut Department of Public Health, the State of Connecticut has also activated an overall framework for donations of protective clothing, helmets, goggles, or other garments or equipment designed to protect the wearer’s body from injury or infection that are used by people providing healthcare services, according to the CT.gov website.

The Sacred Heart University College of Nursing has already donated all its PPE supplies to St. Vincent’s Medical Center, Nuvance Health (Danbury, New Milford, Norwalk and Stamford Hospital), Bridgeport Hospital and CT Hospice. Faculty in the SHU School of Computer Science & Engineering are also working toward manufacturing masks using the University’s 3-D printers. Logie said that other organizations that have PPEs in their inventory and are not using them “are really willing to donate,” and the state has a mechanism for them to donate through the United Way

“We have to work together,” Logie said. “Everyone wants to help. This is one way we can all help reduce the burden.”

Editors’ note — For the latest information, executive orders, and guidance related to coronavirus (COVID-19), visit ct.gov/coronavirus.

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By Nancy Doniger

Nancy Doniger worked as a journalist for three decades and was a founding editor of the nonprofit Easton Courier in partnership with the School of Communications, Media & the Arts at Sacred Heart University (SHU). She served two years as executive member and is now a contributing editing of the Easton Courier. She was a former managing editor of Hometown Publications and Hersam Acorn Newspapers covering Connecticut's Fairfield and New Haven counties. She was a correspondent for the Connecticut section of The New York Times from 1995 until the section was discontinued in 2006. Over the years she edited The Easton Courier, The Monroe Courier, The Bridgeport News and other community newspapers. She taught news editing as an adjunct professor at SHU and served as coordinator and member of the Community Assets Network for the Easton, Redding and Region 9 schools. She was a member of the Newtown Community Center Commission, member of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), board member of the New England Newspaper and Press Association (NENPA), and past president and board member of the Barnard Club of Connecticut. She has won awards for her writing from SPJ and NENPA.