Vale and Cementation are among the industry players answering the call for much-needed personal protective equipment (PPE) for health-care workers in northern hospitals in the ongoing work to protect against COVID-19 transmission.
In Sudbury, Dr. Lacey Pitre, an oncologist at Health Sciences North (HSN) and a researcher with the Canadian Cancer Trials Group, posted a March 20 message to social media asking for help from the community.
“Please – if you have any N95 masks made by a regulated manufacturer and you are not using them for direct patient care – reach out to our team at HSN,” she wrote, mentioning miners Vale and Glencore by name. “They will be used.”
Vale responded by confirming it would supply 500 masks for the hospital.
The company has extensive nickel mining and processing facilities in the city.
In North Bay a few days later, Cementation announced it would be donating a range of goods to the North Bay Regional Hospital, including respirators, filters, sanitizing wipes, and goggles.
“Cementation wishes to thank everyone who is working to limit the effects of this health crisis, either on the front line, essential services, or supporting our communities by following the guidance of social distancing,” the company wrote in a social media post.
Cementation provides contracting and engineering services for underground mining operations around the world. Its headquarters are in North Bay.
In Northern Ontario, the cases of COVID-19 reported to date include four in Sudbury, four in Timmins, one in Algoma, one in Fort Frances, one in West Nipissing (presumptive), and one in Temiskaming.