New info on PPE distribution to first responders:
BOSTON – The Baker-Polito Administration today announced the distribution of approximately 200,000 respirator masks for all local law enforcement officers and firefighters to ensure they have the protective equipment during the COVID-19 crisis. These FDA-approved respirator masks will be distributed to all local law enforcement officers, including sheriffs and college and university police, and firefighters starting today through a coordinated effort by the COVID-19 Response Command Center and the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA). Emergency Medical Service (EMS) providers are continuing to receive these types of masks and other PPE.
To facilitate quick distribution of these masks, MEMA is employing a regional point of distribution (POD) model where communities can pick up their supply of masks at their designated MEMA POD. These POD sites are open today and have already distributed tens of thousands of masks to first responders in the first few hours.
This new distribution will ensure that local law enforcement and firefighters will have five respirator masks each, equivalent to a one month’s supply. Including conservation methods currently being used by some organizations, this will provide each individual a mask per week and a spare, allowing the mask to dry overnight and reuse for up to one week.
The Baker-Polito Administration and its COVID-19 Response Command Center continue to prioritize the procurement and distribution of personal protective equipment for front-line workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. As of yesterday, the Commonwealth has delivered over four million pieces of PPE statewide. This includes over 2.3 million gloves, over 370,000 masks from the “AirKraft” shipment, almost 190,000 gowns and 380 ventilators.