SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — While still keeping their distance because of coronavirus sheltering, people across the Bay Area are coming together to organize donations of medical equipment for frontline health care workers.

Outside San Francisco’s St. Mary’s Medical Center on Stanyan St. Thursday, the drop of a box of donations elicited a round of applause.

Nurses and their supporters across the Bay Area are running drives for personal protective equipment (PPE) to prepare for an expected surge of COVID-19 cases.

In San Carlos, the Chinese community came together to buy masks for nurses on the front line. “It really brought tears to all of us to see that nurses are sewing masks at home,” drive organizer Vicky Yu told KPIX 5. “Our Chinese community here felt like something must be done. So, we formed a fundraising campaign overnight and within the first 24 hours we raised about $18,000 and we were very lucky that we secured 8,000 masks.”

If you want to help, here is the best advice to make sure your donation counts. “We prefer for them to be in a box. We appreciate any and all donations as long as they are clean and unused,” said nurse Holly Edson.

N95 masks are what workers need. “The Cal-OSHA standards are for airborne precautions, which means a negative pressure room and N95 masks and coverage of the nurse. We want those standards,” said Edson.

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