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TRI-CITIES, WA - Nurses across the nation are experiencing a shortage in protective gear during this Coronavirus pandemic.

Healthcare workers are scared for their health and safety right now, many tell us the situation is desperate.

A local Tri-Cities nurse who did not want to be identified says all hospitals in the area are experiencing a mask shortage and it's taking a toll.

"We are sacrificing our lives to take care of others- who would ever think our nation wouldn't be equipped to handle this," she said.

An ER doctor working at Kaiser hospital in San Francisco is pleading on Facebook for mask and protective gear donations. In the post she says, nurses are being forced to make them.  "I'm not joking- nurses are cutting up plastic soda bottles to make face shields," she wrote.

We reached out to several hospitals in the area about the shortage.

Jim hall, Director of Communications for Kadlec says they are part of a program, "100 Million Mask Challenge," that gives volunteers medical grade material and sewing kits. The website says all of the kits have been claimed, but, "stay tuned for more information."

Kittitas Valley Health Care did not want to comment, but directed us to a post on their Facebook page encouraging people to help by sewing hospital gowns and masks.

Lourdes & Trios health told us they encourage locals to partner with O' Brien Construction. The Kennewick based construction company is sponsoring a face mask drive with other construction companies for hospital workers and first responers.

Reps for O' Brien Construction say we must prioritize people on the front lines, and instead of hoarding masks and other medical supplies we can save lives by donating them.

If you want to help, simply drop off any unused face mask supplies at O'Brien Construction and they will deliver them to local hospitals. Donations will go directly to local hospital workers and first responsers.

For more information see links below:

Tri-Cities:

https://www.facebook.com/OBrien-Construction-Company-Inc-494950527255117/

https://www.providence.org/lp/100m-masks

Kittitas County:

https://www.lazygirldesigns.com/free-hospital-gown-patterns/

https://www.craftpassion.com/face-mask-sewing-pattern/

For questions or to donate your items, contact Karen Schock at 509.962.7322 or kschock@kvhealthcare.org.

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