Coronavirus: Daytona Beach Ocean Center transformed into medical distribution center

Supplies sent to health care facilities as fast as they can

The Ocean Center that’s known for conventions and events has transformed into a distribution hub that’s housing life-saving equipment for those who need it the most.

“We want to be ahead of things as quickly as we can,” Deputy Director for Volusia County’s Department of Public Protection Mark Swanson said. “Masks, gowns, gloves, face shields. Things that first responders, nursing home staff and hospitals need to take care of their patients.”

Swanson said the supplies are leaving the center as fast they’re being shipped in.

[Interactive map: Florida cities with coronavirus cases]

He said organizations order supplies through the state, then volunteers work to categorize the supplies they receive daily.

“They sign up, the orders get shipped here, we fill the orders and then we make the contacts of the agencies, so they can come pick up the orders,” Swanson said.

Mike Gahring works for the DeBary Health and Rehabilitation Center and was at the Ocean Center to pick up masks and gowns.

“We need a lot of supplies. The gear they need to protect them from the virus while they’re taking care of people that don’t have any protection, that they’re counting on us to get them what they need to get protected with,” Gahring said. “It’s a big relief to know that we can get what we need when we need it.”

County officials said the Ocean Center will be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“We’re doing everything we possibly can to be as prepared as we possibly can getting those supplies in here to be used,” said Swanson.

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