MOUNT HOLLY — Burlington County has distributed more than 1.8 million items of personal protective equipment and supplies as part of the county’s continuing efforts to safeguard vulnerable residents and staff at long-term care facilities, as well as first responders and health care workers during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“Equipping police, firefighters, EMS and other front-line health care workers with personal protective equipment remains a key part of the county’s pandemic response, even as the number of new infections in the county has decreased,” said Dr. Herb Conaway, the director of the county Department of Health and the leader of the county’s COVID-19 Task Force.
“First responders and health care workers are on the front lines of this crisis. Making sure they are properly equipped continues to be foremost among our priorities,” Dr. Conaway said. “While the number of new cases has come down significantly since April and May, the virus is still active here and in other parts of the country. We cannot relax and open the door to a resurgence.”
Ensuring that long-term care centers are properly equipped is particularly important, since their residents are among the most vulnerable to the disease.
“We know that residents of these communities face the highest risks from infections, so we want to make sure these facilities have the equipment and supplies to keep their residents safe and healthy,” said Burlington County Freeholder Dan O’Connell, the board’s liaison to the Department of Health.
The county had distributed more than 637,000 surgical masks, 327,000 gloves, 20,000 protective gowns, 85,000 face shields, 86,000 K95 or KN95 masks to more than 60 long-term care facilities and health care providers in the county. Another 308,000 surgical masks, 153,700 gloves, 14,900 gowns, 35,000 face shields and close to 200,000 K95 and KN95s were distributed to first responders within the county’s 40 municipalities to distribute to their police and fire departments and Emergency Medical Service providers.
In addition to distributing PPE, the Health Department continues to offer free coronavirus testing to all county residents at clinics being held remotely throughout the county.
To date more than 7,000 residents have undergone testing through the county’s program, including more than 1,200 tested at six mobile clinics held earlier this month in Medford, Mount Holly, Palmyra, Florence, Bordentown City and Moorestown.