BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Starting today, all emergency responders in Massachusetts will receive their own month-long supply of respiratory masks to ensure they are protected during the COVID-19 pandemic, including local law enforcement officers, sheriffs, college and university police, EMS, and firefighters.
According to Gov. Charlie Baker, the distribution of roughly 200,000 respirator masks was facilitated by the state's COVID-19 Response Command Center and the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA).
"The new mask allocation is in addition to the ongoing PPE distribution by MEMA and DPH to hospitals, nursing homes, senior health centers.... state agencies, and other organizations," Baker said. "MEMA has opened regional Point of Distribution sites (POD) where communities can go to pick up their supply of masks."
A press release from Baker's office said the POD sites are "open today and have already distributed tens of thousands of masks to first responders in the first few hours."
Baker said emergency responders will get "five respirator masks each." That means individuals will have a one-month supply; one mask per week, allowing for the mask to dry overnight and be reusable for up to seven days, and one spare.
As of Thursday, the Commonwealth had delivered over four million pieces of personal protective equipment across the state, including over 2.3 million gloves, over 370,000 masks from the “AirKraft” shipment, almost 190,000 gowns, and 380 ventilators.
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