“It definitely takes a little bit of a load off trying to find more so we can easily do testing and vaccine administration and just see our patients safely,” said Janine Davey, facilities director of the Fair Haven Community Health Center.
Davey is in charge of sourcing PPE, and Thursday’s delivery of 1,000 N95 masks is a bit of a relief. The masks are a critical part of their daily operations serving those in need.
“We know that the people at this center provide so much healthcare for those who are without insurance, those who are without adequate insurance,” said Sen. Martin Looney, interim state senate president.
The donation from Connecticut Biotech comes at a time when staff at Fair Haven Community Health Care said it’s not just a shortage of N95s, but it’s the price of the ones available that make the masks hard to stock.
“The challenge we’re now seeing is that the cost has really escalated,” said CEO Dr. Suzanne Lagarde. “We have to be very careful about allocating scarce dollars.”
The masks will be helpful because the organization offers COVID testing and vaccinations, and they’ve been doing dental work as part of their regular offerings.
“With aerosolized procedures, they use N95 masks every day. This is critical to continue to allow them to continue their work,” said Lagarde.
So far, that work this year has included 32,561 free COVID-19 tests since March. Of that, 17,561 have been administered since June.
They anticipate the need for masks and full PPE as the testing demands grow, and they begin vaccinations for 1A approved groups next week.
“We do burn through a fair amount of personal protective equipment,” said Dr. Everett Lamm, vice president of clinical affairs. “And this is going to go a long way to helping us fulfill our mission to serving the needs of the community.”