BOSTON (WHDH) - Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh on Friday made an urgent plea for local businesses to donate masks and respirators to hospitals in the city as healthcare workers continue their fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

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“The medical professionals are working hard under very stressful conditions to save lives,” Walsh said. “I spoke to the presidents of all the hospitals in Boston today and they need supplies.”

Healthcare workers could become even more vulnerable to the virus should hospitals run out of protective masks, so Walsh called on local construction companies to step up in this desperate time of need.

“I want to make an appeal today to all the building sites, construction companies, and anyone who uses protective gear,” Walsh said. “We’re looking for masks and we’re looking for protective equipment.”

Walsh specifically singled out asbestos abatement and demolition companies.

“You have that equipment, some of it is on your shelves,” Walsh said. “We’re asking you right now…the most important use for that equipment is to make sure we get it in the hands of our medical professionals who are saving lives.”

A shortage of supplies has been a constant worry within the medical field, especially with personal protective equipment like gloves, masks, and gowns.

The Centers for Disease Control announced Thursday that healthcare workers should use scarves and bandannas as a last resort.

Walsh said that those interested in donating masks or respirators should call 311. Those living outside of the city should call 617-635-4500.

“This is not for us to stockpile and have. This is for us to share,” Walsh said. “Not just with the Boston hospitals but to pass along to the state.”

Wals announced the suspension of all construction projects in the city earlier this week.

About a dozen commercial parking garages in the city have agreed to reserve spaces for healthcare workers who have been struggling to find a place to their vehicles, according to Walsh. The garages will also be slashing prices.

“I want to thank those garages for doing that,” Walsh said. “We’re going to be looking for more spaces in and around hospitals.”

Walsh also said that Bluebikes is offering a free 30-day pass to medical personnel.

With 67 confirmed coronavirus cases in the city, Walsh again reminded residents to practice social distancing and to avoid house gatherings and parties.

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Walsh also asked the public to refrain from hugging and shaking hands. He also spoke about the importance of maintaining space from others while out on a walk or run.

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