Vehicles lined up bumper Wednesday morning in West Hartford, all picking up much-needed PPE. It was a coordinated effort overseen by the Department of Public Health and assisted by the CT National Guard.
“This is what we’ve been trained to do is to support our community,” said Sr. Master Sgt David Miller of the CT National Guard.
N95 masks, face shields, gloves and gowns were divided and distributed to public health facilities. Some materials were provided by the federal government, others purchased by the state.
Also assisting in distribution was the Connecticut Incident Management Team (IMT). For them, this was a very different assignment.
“We’re accustomed to natural disasters, hurricanes and tornadoes,” said William Perkins, IMT Commander for Region 3. “This is unprecedented. I don’t think anybody who is alive today has gone through anything like this.”
The regional distribution center in West Hartford is one of five set up around the state this week and next week, each operating on a different day of the week.
The points of distribution will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the following days:
- Region 1-Mondays: Sherwood Island State Park, Sherwood Island Connector, Westport, CT ·
- Region 2-Tuesdays: North Haven Recreation Center, 7 Linsley St., North Haven, CT
- Region 3-Wednesdays: 25 Brixton Street, West Hartford, CT
- Region 4-Thursdays: Earth Expo Center, Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, CT
- Region 5-Fridays: Bethlehem Fairgrounds, 384 Main St. North, Bethlehem, CT
Distribution is designated for local healthcare providers only and primarily for assisted living and long-term health facilities. Supplies are limited.
According to the IMT, the Connecticut Department of Health determined how supplies were distributed. Ninety-nine different organizations were expected to pick up Wednesday. Some were frustrated.
“I don’t want to sound ungrateful,” said Lisa Cortese, the facility manager at the Elmhill Manor in Rockville. “I’m very grateful that they even gave us this but it’s not enough. We cannot keep our residents safe.”
Cortese was picking up for three different facilities and says despite today’s distribution there is still a great need.
“I wish I could give them more,” she said. “I wish I could protect them more and I can’t.”