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Hospitals request iPad donations to keep coronavirus patients in touch with their loved ones

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Hospitals have been requesting donations of iPads and tablets in an attempt to keep coronavirus patients in touch with their loved ones.

Stony Brook University Hospital in Stony Brook, N.Y, has requested iPads as it battles the pandemic.

“If a dedicated iPad can be left with our patients, it would cut down on the need to continually disinfect devices,” said Nicole Rossol, chief patient officer at Stony Brook University Hospital, in a statement. “The staff would then be able to use their phones to contact the patients using an app.” This could significantly reduce their use of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) supplies and save valuable time, the hospital said.

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To maintain social distancing and safety, the hospital is scheduling appointments for donated iPads to be dropped off. Before donation, the device should be cleaned, reset and, if possible, placed in a zip lock bag with a viable power cord, according to the hospital.

Apple iPad - file photo.

Apple iPad - file photo. (Reuters)

The Valley Hospital Foundation in Ridgewood, N.J., has also made an appeal for iPads.

“Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, connecting Valley patients with their loved ones virtually through video face-to-face technology has quickly become in demand,” it said in a statement on its website. “In order to expand this capability and allow more patients to virtually 'visit' with friends and family, as well as to allow physician telehealth visits, we are asking for IPad and tablet donations.”

New York State is the worst hit in the U.S. by the coronavirus outbreak, with at least 161,807 cases and 7,844 deaths as of Friday afternoon. New Jersey is the second worst-hit state, with 54,588 cases and 1,932 deaths as of Friday morning.

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At least 1.67 million coronavirus cases have been diagnosed worldwide, at least 486,490 of which are in the U.S. The disease has accounted for at least 101,526 deaths around the world, including more than 18,000 people in the U.S.

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers