ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — The healthcare community in St. Louis — and around the world — is urgently asking for more personal protective equipment, commonly called PPE. On Wednesday, Webster University answered that call for help.

"We were hearing about dire needs in the medical community for PPE, and immediately moved to get whatever useful materials we had to those health care workers," said Mary Preuss, chair of the Biological Sciences Department.

The university had a supply of N-95 masks, goggles, gloves and disposable lab coats that were used by Biological Sciences students to protect themselves during lab exercises.

But since classes are now online for the rest of the semester, Webster University thought Mercy Hospital should have them instead.

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Webster donated its entire supply to Mercy, which is experiencing a shortage of PPE items. The university didn’t have an exact number of the items donated, but said it was in the hundreds.

The CDC has strict recommendations for healthcare workers on what they should use when treating patients.

While several social media groups and hashtags are working to sew and knit facemasks, the CDC and the World Health Organization do not recommend healthcare workers use homemade masks made out of cloth.

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