The Waverly Health Center is preparing for a surge in patients as COVID-19 cases spike daily, says COO Heidi Solheim.

No confirmed cases are reported so far in Bremer County, but statewide, the number has climbed to 145, and Dubuque County recorded the state’s first fatality, as reported Tuesday night.

In the race to plan for the influx of patients and in an effort to protect the health and well being of the staff, the hospital is asking businesses that may have extra supplies of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) or establishments like restaurants and hair salons, that may have ceased operations for now, but still have supplies on hand, to donate them the hospital. Donation letters will be issued.

Such items as Tyvek (bunny suits), gowns, lab coats, aprons, respirators (N95 or higher) facemasks, alcohol wipes and other materials (see list on A2).

Late last week, the hospital implemented procedures to take the temperature and asks screening questions of anyone — staff, patient or visitor — who enters the hospital as well as its affiliated clinics.

Solheim said the hospital has heard from many community members seeking to lend a hand and putting their sewing skills to work, but at this point, WHC is not looking for handmade masks.

“The safety and wellbeing of our staff is our first priority so they can take care of the patients through this time,” she said.