In the past week, the Humboldt County Office of Emergency Services (OES) has distributed 30,000 pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) to local health care facilities and first responders throughout the county.
Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) volunteers and Humboldt County Sheriff’s deputies delivered the necessary equipment to 27 local agencies Friday.
EOC Logistics Chief John Wilson said the county has been split into three distribution routes encompassing the northern, central and southern parts of the county.
Though the influx of supplies has been sporadic, Wilson said the county plans to distribute this PPE to health care facilities on a weekly basis. First responders, including local law enforcement and fire departments, will receive PPE distribution twice a month.
“CERT has been instrumental in providing volunteers available to us,” Wilson said. “Depending on the need, we have four to six volunteers available to us every day.”
Despite the uncertainty people are feeling, Wilson said he is impressed with how people are stepping up. “The community is coming together as it should,” he said. “It’s been refreshing to see this many county, state and local government entities from a whole host of backgrounds, come together to manage an incident none of us have ever really trained for.”
Regarding personal use of PPE, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following, “If you are sick: You should wear a facemask, if available, when you are around other people (including before you enter a healthcare provider’s office).”
The CDC goes on to recommend, “If you are caring for others: If the person who is sick is not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then as their caregiver, you should wear a facemask when in the same room with them. Visitors, other than caregivers, are not recommended. Please note: During a public health emergency, facemasks may be reserved for health care workers.”
For current information about COVID-19, visit cdc.gov or cdph.ca.gov. Local information is available at humboldtgov.org or during business hours by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 707-441-5000.