Health Officials re-directing masks meant for first responders

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OHIO COUNTY, W.Va. (WTRF)

West Virginia Health Officials have decided to re-purpose the respirator masks that were donated for First Responders to non-emergent facilities.

The masks that were brought to help fight the coronavirus pandemic were not deemed eligible by the America’s National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health specifications to be used by First Reponders.

Masks with ear loops instead of head bands often don’t have the proper fit for safety.

“So the N95 masks are our highest level of protection for our first responders. So those agencies, the police department, the sheriff’s department, the fire department, all emergency medical service agencies, and at the hospitals. Those doctors, nurses, and technicians that are at the front line taking care of direct patients that are COVID positive have to have the highest level of protection. The surgical mask or the procedure mask that we refer too that are not in emergency response and are providing services without direct patient contact, like serving meals, doing other types of procedures where there is not that direct patient contact in the health care facilities.”

Lou Vargo – Ohio County EMA Director “

It is up to the Emergency Managers throughout the state to put in a request every two weeks for what PPE their area needs.

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