Riverside Health System today announced guidelines for community members who wish to help care for staff members during the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

“Riverside is incredibly grateful for the outpouring of support it is receiving from the community, and we encourage people to keep it up in ways that will help the most,” said Bill Downey, CEO, Riverside Health System. “These guidelines will help ensure that Riverside facilities continue to get the supplies and support that provide the greatest benefit, while keeping patients, team members and the community as safe possible.”

First, Riverside continues to advise community members to follow health experts’ guidance on practicing social distancing and staying home – the number one thing each person can do to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus and end the pandemic.

For those wishing to make donations, Riverside is making the following guidelines available on its website at riversideonline.com/howcanihelp. These guidelines will be updated as material needs and safety requirements warrant.

Donate Money to the Riverside Make A Difference Fund

Supporting Riverside’s Make A Difference fund allows for immediate impact in the areas of greatest need. Community members can donate online safely and securely now at supportremarkable.riversideonline.com or mail a check to Riverside Health System Foundation, 701 Town Center Drive, Suite 1000, Newport News, VA 23606. Donations can be directed to:

  • COVID-19 Emergency Fund: Helping Riverside respond quickly with the critical supplies and resources required at various facilities.
  • Patient Assistance: Enabling Riverside patient navigators to respond more efficiently to patients’ needs.
  • Team Member Help Fund: Offering assistance to Riverside team members who may be financially impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

Give Blood

The Red Cross is in desperate need of blood, which can still be donated in a safe manner while practicing social distancing. Visit the Red Cross website at redcrossblood.org to schedule a donation appointment at a Riverside facility or other location.

Donate Select New and Unopened Medical Supplies

Riverside is welcoming donations of certain medical supplies that are difficult to obtain. These items must be new and in unopened boxes and clearly labeled. They should be dropped off at any Riverside hospital location on Wednesdays between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Acceptable items include:

  • N95 respirator masks
  • PAPR (powered air-purifying respirator) equipment and hoods
  • Surgical masks
  • Disposable gloves (all sizes, latex-free)
  • Disposable surgical caps
  • Disposable foot covers
  • Protective eyewear
  • Nasal testing swaps
  • Viral testing kits
  • Face guards and face shields
  • Alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Touchless thermometers

Only the items noted above can be accepted and should be dropped off during the designated hours at each facility. People arriving with donation deliveries are asked to call the number listed for that facility so that a Riverside staff member can come out to their vehicle to retrieve the items. Large-scale donations can also be arranged by emailing allison.fonner@rivhs.com.

At this time, Riverside cannot accept 3-D printed materials, medications, blankets or homemade food items.

Offer Homemade Face Masks to Friends and Family

Riverside is accepting homemade face masks but is not using them in clinical settings at this time. Riverside encourages those who are able and willing to make masks to please do so and to provide them to friends and neighbors who are caring for family members with COVID-19. While homemade masks do not provide clinical-grade protection, they can be utilized by COVID-19 patients at home, as well as by those caring for them.

For more the latest on the materials needed most at Riverside facilities, including guidelines, hospital addresses and contact information, please visit riversideonline.com/howcanihelp.

For more information about COVID-19 and Riverside Health System’s response, visit riversideonline.com/covid-19.

Published: March 27, 2020