Medical professionals turn to community for face masks amid shortage in COVID-19 fight

The Trump Administration has promised half a billion medical protection masks for hospitals running desperately low. 

It's unclear when the supplies will arrive so on Saturday volunteers and medical staffers around the Bay Area took up collections for protective gear, even willing to accept used supplies. 

Top infectious disease expert for the White House, Dr. Anthony Fauci, warned that personal protective equipment, primarily masks, were in short supply.

In San Francisco, medical students off from clinical classes spent their free time organizing a drive for mask donations.

“Yesterday we came at 10 a.m. with no promotion and we were able to collect 235 masks," said UCSF School of Medicine student India Perez.

And many locals have them. 

“The masks that I had were from my kids’ supply and also leftover from the wildfires," said resident Mike Levi. "I saw them here yesterday and realized that I’m not using them and this is a wonderful contribution I can make.”

Pacific Gas and Electric on Friday announced it's donating nearly 1 million protective masks from its wildfire and construction zone supply to California hospitals.

The masks will go to UCSF, San Francisco General and Highland hospitals.