Coronavirus and Morgantown, WV
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
The entire state of WV has issued a safer-at-home order as of May 4, 2020. The Safer-at-Home order strongly encourages West Virginians to remain in their homes and residences and leave only for essential services or activities. Safer-at-Home Order >>
There are many good people coming together around the world and in Morgantown. Morgantown natives and M&S co-founders, Ashok Aggarwal and Sanu Chadha, along with everyone at M&S are trying to move the needle and encourage everyone around us to do everything we can. This isn’t the kind of thing we should wait for someone else to solve for us, so we are getting involved and creating solutions.
A GoFundMe page was setup to support the various Morgantown COVID-19 Innovations. Multiple teams are working diligently in improving current solutions out in the market and designing new ones, with the aim to have the best solution on our side. GoFundMe Page >>
Non-anonymous donors include:
- Justin Byers
- Daidre Fanis
- Amar Grover
- Brad Stephens
- Mike Green
- Matt Harbaugh
- Tom McClellan
- Ashok Aggarwal
Face Masks and Shields
To protect the community, please wear face masks! There is a discernible correlation between the level of attention paid to mask usage and the spread of COVID-19. In countries like Italy and Spain, there is little mask usage. Sadly, these countries have been suffering through many cases of the virus (over 110,000 cases in both countries). On the other hand, countries such as South Korea and Japan have had a strong mask-wearing culture; thus, they have seen few cases, despite being close to the virus’s hearth (3,100 cases in Japan and 10,100 in South Korea).
The importance of wearing a mask is even further emphasized relating to asymptomatic (not showing symptoms of the virus) people. People that have no symptoms and go into public settings can still be infectious. Although there is only a correlation between virality and mask-wearing, it is certainly better to have some protection than no protection against COVID-19.
Homemade masks, made of cotton or fabric lined with copper, silver, or even with a pocket for a filter, can help protect you from getting COVID-19. It also does protect you from potentially infecting others when you breathe, cough, or sneeze. Droplets, during these actions, can spread up to 50 feet with air movement.
DIY Face Masks
DIY No Sew Face Mask Easy and Quick for Anyone
This video shows how to make a face mask from home without sewing materials or a 3D printer. One should note that cotton is a great fabric for making these masks.
Why we need #Masks4All, and how to make your own mask
Here is another excellent resource for making masks; it has a lot of important information pertaining to why masks are useful. The video also explains that mask users must wash their masks. This is essential because if virus particles were trapped in the mask, one could ingest those particles by touching the mask or wearing it again after use. Another very important point the video makes is that only one person wearing a mask will not make a large difference, but if a large majority is wearing masks, this could really help deter the virus from spreading (along with social distancing and hand washing). So, please let friends and family know of these easy but crucial steps to help keep the community safe.
3D Printed Face Masks
DIY Face Shields
Our friends at Intermed Partners (Dr. Tom McClellan, MD, and Dr. Justin Chambers, PhD, based in Morgantown, WV, near Mon Health) have designed a face shield that is ready to be used locally at Mon Health and shared with the national guard to be used throughout the US. It uses simple materials that can be found in many homes and all hospitals: a napkin, string, hole punch, stapler, and transparency paper. Below is a how-to video of making the face shield as well as an image you can share with anyone (here is printable PDF).
3D Printed Face Shield
3D printing has become increasingly popular in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. There are many designs online for 3D printed face shields, and a group called Prusa Research is one of the leading groups for these open-source designs.
“Why such a demand? It is a respiratory illness for a large number of people. So they all need ventilators. Non-COVID patients are normally on ventilators for three to four days. COVID patients are on ventilators for 11 to 21 days. You don't have the same turnaround.”
Some hospitals in New York have already been faced with over-extensions of the healthcare infrastructure that have forced them to use techniques that allow multiple patients to use a single ventilator. Prisma Health (in SC) has introduced an initial design and open-sourced to hospitals which Intermed Partners in partnership with Mon Health has been working on implementing and testing. Ventilator splitting solutions come with challenges, so Intermed has been improving the designs to allow for greater efficacy of the device in real-world use cases. They are also working closely with Dr. Paul Gera, MD at Mon Health. The Intermed design is called VSplitr. Intermed has released the designs for VSplitr this can be printed by anyone with an FSM 3D printer. Others in the community like Mon Health Foundation, M&S Consulting, and individuals at Mountain State Capital are chipping in by connecting hospitals and front-line experts (anesthesiologists) with this technology, as well as helping Intermed increase operational capacity to ramp up production of the devices.
Thus far, Intermed has sent VSplitrs to NY, PA, and OH in addition to hospitals in WV. Additional information and white papers can be found on the Intermed site.
Call to action: If you have FDM 3D printing equipment and would like to print VSplitr, please see the below link for a .zip file containing instructions as well as 3D printing .stl files. If you have any questions, please contact Intermed Partners or you can use our contact page and we can help you get you in contact with them.
Morgantown native and WVU senior, Noah Adams, as well as others in the Morgantown community, including Becca Fint-Clark and Dr. Jen Robertson-Honecker, PhD from WVU Extension Services, are also planning to possibly 3D print VSplitrs. Mr. Adams has already helped introduce additional options for the orientation of the components, which have been reviewed with Dr. Chambers and incorporated into VSplitr instructions.
We also received some good ideas from Mr. Darrel Bickel. He suggested adding to the air flow line a container of fluid, such as water, with air being fed in below the water surface and being drawn from above the surface. This would act as a filter to remove particles and potentially any virus. Alternatively, a simple check valve that opens at low pressure could be used to prevent air from flowing from one patient to the other. The Intermed engineering team is working on possibly incorporating some of his ideas.
Finally, we also received help on a legal disclaimer for the VSplitr from local attorneys A. Tyler Reseter, Esq. and Scott Dicken, Esq.
Syneos Health (an M&S client based in NC) has published the following call to action about how standard BiPAP machines can be used to spare the use of mechanical ventilators.
If you know a healthcare provider who is now treating COVID-19 patients, this is information we believe will help them manage the ventilator shortage. Additional medical education will be on our COVID-19 BiPAP Information Center page.
COVID-19: Surviving the Ventilator Shortage. This is a podcast intended for the healthcare professional. Critical-care pulmonologist Dr. Keith Robinson, MD, MS, FCCP, describes how to use standard hospital BiPAP machines with the intubated patient to spare the use of mechanical ventilators.
Call to action: Please share this page (and this link in particular) with anyone you know in healthcare so they can get this to the right people.
Automatic Ambu-Bag Squeezing
New York has ordered 7,000 Ambu-bags that could be used to manually resuscitate patients. The national guard is being trained on how to do this, but the number of people and length of time to manually squeeze Ambu-bags could be enormous. Intermed Partners, as well as others at MIT, Minnesota, and others are in the process of designing engineered solutions to automate squeezing of the Ambu-bags. MIT is working on receiving FDA approval for their design which they plan to open-source. As soon as MIT releases the E-Vent designs, Intermed will begin manufacturing these devices locally (perhaps the week of 4/12/20).
Call to action: If you have FDM 3D printing equipment, laser cutting equipment, and/or water cutting equipment, please contact Intermed Partners or you can use our contact page and we can help you get you in contact with them.
Donations: PPE, Blood, and Food
Local healthcare and essential business employees are in need of personal protective equipment (PPE). Morgantown native, Dr. Cynthia Walsh, MD, has been working to collect PPE from anyone in the community and delivering it to local organizations. Following are some examples of PPE:
- the Intermed face shields from above
- N95 respirators
- face shield/eye protection, etc.
Additionally, Dr. Walsh is getting the word out about blood donations and will be happy to answer any questions you might have about donating blood during this time.
Lastly, Dr. Walsh is interested in hearing ideas on how we can help in the effort of making healthy meals for people in healthcare and others working in essential businesses that also likely have families at home.
UPDATE from Mr. Steve Caldwell (3/30/20) on Blood Donation Drive:
Location: WVU Erickson Alumni Center
- Thursday, April 9
- Monday, April 13
- Tuesday, April 14
- Thursday April 16
- Friday, April 17
- Monday, April 20
- Wednesday, April 22
To make an appointment, please go to RedCrossBlood.org and use the sponsor code: WVU ALUMNI
Any WVU student who donates blood will receive four credit hours on iServe
All presenting donors will receive a $5 Amazon.com e-gift card emailed to them. Not redeemable for cash.
If you have any PPE that could be donated, any questions about blood donation, and/or ideas on providing meals please contact Dr. Walsh on her Pineview Gynecology Facebook page use our contact page and we can help you get you in contact with Cindy
Inspiration & Shoutouts
COVID-19 Testing Pop-Up Tents
We at M&S are currently partnered with Freed Associates to help UCSF healthcare adapt to working from home effectively while continuing to deliver high quality healthcare services in the Bay Area. Freed has devised a 48-hour playbook to help healthcare organizations set up pop-up clinics (tents) that can quickly test for COVID-19. This concept could be particularly useful to set up in remote areas of WV and could become something that is needed all throughout the country as people are leery of going to a populated hospital for testing if they have contracted COVID-19.
Call to action: If you know of healthcare administrators that might be interested in setting up pop-up clinics for testing COVID-19, please contact Freed Associates or you can use our contact page and we can help you get you in contact with them.
Connect in Virtual Reality
With the stay-at-home order in WV, loved ones are no longer able to see each other as often. This is particularly agonizing in situations where loved ones are holding on for their lives. Morgantown native, Ms. Tina Mascaro, is working to provide mobile devices (particularly old iPads, iPhones, and iPods) that are capable of video calling (with technology like FaceTime) to people in hospitals and nursing homes in the area.
Call to action: If you would like to donate a device that could be used for this purpose, please contact Tina on Facebook or you can use our contact page and we can help you get you in contact with her.
WVU Engineering Innovation Center Mask Extenders
Kelsey Crawford, Josh Bintrim and Gene Cilento from the Innovation Hub, a prototyping center in the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources at West Virginia University, have successfully created surgical mask extenders that reduce the pressure behind the ears, affording the user increased measure of comfort.
The original design was created by HP as a 3D print mode. The Innovation Hub team worked diligently to modify the designs to be compatible with a laser cutter and waterjet.
The information and files provided in the zip file can be used to make extenders. It includes dimensions, materials, instructions for cleanliness and design files.
Call to action: If you have the production capabilities to create the mask extenders, you can contact Gene Cilento, Innovation Hub Director to donate to WVU Health Sciences or or you can use our contact page and we can help deliver to Mon Health.
Volunteer as a Tutor
Daidre Fanis (from M&S in North Carolina) had a wonderful idea for college and/or high school students. As schools and libraries across the country have temporarily closed, there is a shortage of available tutoring services – an extension of “learn at home” – to support students who need additional learning emphasis on particular subjects.
This creates an opportunity for students who have time available to make themselves available to tutor younger students (kindergarten through 12th grade) on core subjects. Core classes for K-12 include: Math, Reading, Literature, Writing, Science, etc.
Call to action: Utilize your local, social media channels such as NextDoor app, Facebook, and school communication sites to advertise your services and availability. Setup a virtual meeting room to host the tutoring sessions. Think about whether you would charge for your tutoring services, or donate your time without charge. If you have any questions or suggestions around this idea please use our contact page and we can help you get you in contact with Daidre Fanis.
Mr. Brian Martin from Winner's Choice in Fairmont, WV is leveraging his equipment to make Intubation Boxes, which are used in the ER and ICU units when performing intubation (inserting ventilation tubes) in COVID-19 patients. This helps protect them from contamination. Learn more from the video in this article.
The cost is $200 but there are some funds through “GOFUNDME” to pay for them. Brian and his team are also willing to donate some to local hospitals to the extent they are able. Parts can be cut using CO2 lasers which cut most materials except metal.
K-12 and Higher Education Heroes
We've been extremely impressed by all the amazing school teachers and educational institutions around the country. Dr. Eddie Campbell and Monongalia County Schools have continued to find ways to reach students in need of breakfast and lunch meals during the day.
School teachers and higher education professors have adapted amazingly well with lightning-speed digital transformation in order to teach students remotely. Many educators are very busy creating new strategies for teaching and creatively engaging our children while at home with their own children at the same time.
Call to action: Find a teacher you know and thank them. Then find another and do it again.
Dr. Ivan Martinez, PhD
Our frequent collaborator on community service initiatives, Dr. Ivan Martinez, PhD, of WVU's Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Cell Biology, has been a leading expert in RNA research and an authority on COVID-19 quoted in numerous articles. For example, USA Today has published a very informative article on what coronavirus does to your body where Dr. Martinez's has provided valuable insights. Additional articles where Dr. Martinez has contributed are below:
- USA Today (March 11th, 2020) -- a different article that the one listed above
- Daily Athenaeum (March 5th, 2020)
- WCHS TV 8 from Charleston, WV (March 24th, 2020)
- Spanish newspaper from Barcelona “El Periodico” (March 19th, 2020)
Call to action: Please continue to support and encourage all our fellow West Virginians to lend a helping hand along with our amazing expertise and grit to help the world overcome this pandemic.
100+ People Who Care
Mr. David Goldberg, CEO of Mon Health, has been a lightning rod of innovation, quality, and community service since joining our community in 2018. Along with being a strong supporter of COVID-19 and other medical innovations, he took the initiative to start a chapter of the very successful 100+ People Who Care initiative here in Morgantown. At this time, many people we know are wondering how they can get involved. We hope we beat COVID-19 soon and these feelings of giving and getting things done better together continue for a long time to come. If you are interested in learning about local charities and ways that you can donate, please consider joining and learning more at https://www.100pluspeople.org/.
Call to action: If you would like to join, please learn more at the 100+ People Who Care website or use our contact page and we will get you in touch with the right people. We hope to see you at the next meeting.
The WVU Community
The WVU faculty, staff, and area students have been a force for good with their creativity coming together from multiple different disciplines to attack COVID-19 in our community. Perhaps one of the most impressive efforts has been led by Beth Shorrock who is making 10,000 masks for use by WVU Medicine, Charleston Area Medical Center, and the United Way.
Call to action: To get involved or make donations of densely woven, 100% cotton and elastic, contact Beth at firstname.lastname@example.org
Other Ways People Can Help?
We know there are many amazing initiatives and great people not mentioned here. Please reach out to us and let us know about them (especially those with connections to Morgantown and WV) so we can publish the information here. It will inspire us and help us inspire others in our community in the process.
Call to action: If you know of other ways people can help or have other ideas, please use our contact page and we can try to incorporate it into this page.