For Immediate Release
Contact: Phil Ulibarri
775.328.2414 or 775.772.1659
The Washoe County Health District has begun distributing nearly $120,000 worth of personal protective equipment (PPE) to local law enforcement, EMS transport agencies and hospitals in order to prepare our community for health-related emergencies and to protect responders from known and emerging infectious diseases and other health hazards.
Funding for the equipment distribution came from supplemental grants from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR). Equipment recipients are the Reno Police Department, the Sparks Police Department, the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office, the Washoe County School District-Police, Gerlach Volunteer Fire Department, REMSA, Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center, North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District, and Renown Regional Medical Center. According to health officials, these agencies will receive various types of PPE including: tychem coveralls, biohazard bags, boot covers, chem tape, N-95 masks, polylatex sleeves, gowns, face shields, and isolation pods.
“Our Public Health Preparedness Program staff worked with each recipient to identify their individual PPE needs based on staffing and organizational mission,” said Washoe County District Health Officer, Kevin Dick. “This ensures that community partners are receiving the items that will best meet their needs to protect their staff from infectious disease based on CDC guidelines,” Dick said. The first public recognition of the Health District’s contributions is expected at the July 11 meeting of the Sparks City Council. Other official acceptances are expected to follow.
Funding from supplemental Ebola grants was initially provided to increase the ability of local communities to respond to the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). With the Ebola outbreaks in West Africa ending, the CDC and ASPR allowed the funds to be used more broadly to prepare communities to deal with emerging infectious diseases and novel pathogens. PPE for first responders is necessary to protect them while providing assistance to the community during public health emergencies involving infectious diseases.
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