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How to help Petaluma responders

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The affects of the coronavirus pandemic on Petaluma, and nearly every other community across the country and much of the world, are mind-boggling.

Beyond the lifestyle changes that have been required, like social distancing, telecommuting and remote schooling, the outbreak’s toll on healthcare and the economy is much more dire.

But not everyone has been impacted equally. Those who are healthy and have been spared financial hardship are obligated to help the rest of the community through what will no doubt be a long healing process.

Volunteering to help get food to scared and isolated seniors and supporting struggling local businesses are some of the many ways to lend a hand in this crisis.

As the coronavirus continues to spread through Sonoma County, one of the most pressing needs is in healthcare.

Hospitals everywhere are preparing for an anticipated surge of coronavirus patients. In some places, hotels, convention centers, parks and even ships are being commandeered as makeshift hospitals, evoking scenes of a war zone.

Petaluma Valley Hospital, too, is ramping up efforts to obtain lifesaving equipment ahead of the surge. One of the first major donations was from Petaluma-based Clover Sonoma, which paid for three much needed ventilators worth a total of more than $100,000.

The gift is no surprise — Clover founder Gene Benedetti started a long tradition of giving to his local hospital, an ethos that has been carried on by his grandson and current CEO Marcus Benedetti.

We are lucky to have a local dairy company that is still thriving during this crisis and is in a position to give back. Kudos to Clover for leading in the effort to help equip Petaluma Valley Hospital.

Clover’s donation came with a challenge for the rest of the community to also step up and support Petaluma’s only acute care hospital. While the three ventilators will be put to good use, the hospital says it needs at least one more of the $38,000 breathing machines.

Like healthcare facilities all over the country, Petaluma Valley Hospital is also seeking personal protective equipment — masks, gloves and gowns — that help keep our doctors and nurses fighting the outbreak on the front lines safe.

Bigger ticket items include gurneys and funding to convert existing rooms into isolation chambers to quarantine patients with symptoms of COVID-19.

Here are some ways to help during the coronavirus outbreak:

Donate to Petaluma Valley Hospital

Send a check to Petaluma Valley Hospital Foundation, 400 N. McDowell Blvd., Petaluma, CA 94954

Visit www.givetoPVH.org

Contact Brett Shinn, development manager, at Brett.Shinn@stjoe.org or 707-778-2796

Volunteer for seniors

“You are not alone” phone check-ins

Call 765-8488

Email NotAlone@petalumapeople.org

Meals on Wheels

Call 765-8488

Email admin@petalumapeople.org

Support local businesses

See which businesses are open or closed at www.petaluma360.com/businessdirectory

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