Local health agencies are distributing thousands of masks to the community

Local health agencies recently began distributing thousands of masks to the Hillsdale community, according to a news release from Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency.

The BHSJ health agency and the Regional Agency on Aging began distributing KN95 masks on Feb. 1, according to AAA Director Laura Sutter.

Local health agency offices will distribute masks to anyone who requests them, according to health agency BHSJ website. Town of Hillsdale residents can find masks at the local BHSJ agency office at 20 Care Drive, Sutter said.

The health agency BHSJ announced on its website that it will provide a box of 10 masks per person, while supplies last.

“We have limited quantities, so we want to get them out to as many people as possible,” Sutter said.

According to Sutter, the KN95 mask offers better protection against contracting COVID-19 than cloth masks.

“KN95 masks offer up to five days if used gently,” Sutter said. “We’re just trying to get them out to anyone who needs the extra protection offered by KN95 masks.”

The AAA is providing 2,000 masks for distribution in Hillsdale County, according to Sutter. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services donated 10,000 masks to the AAA, Sutter said, and 20,000 masks to the BHSJ health agency.

As COVID-19 positivity rates continue to rise in our communities, it is essential to get vaccinated and immunized, as well as wearing a properly fitting mask over your mouth and nose in indoor public places or crowds to protect themselves and others from COVID-19,” BHSJ public health officer Rebecca Burns said in a declaration on the agency’s website.

MDHHS donated masks to these agencies as part of the state’s Mask Up, Mask Right campaign, according to health agency BHSJ. website.

“Masks are availablepass through MDHHS Offices,Local Health Services,Area Agency Offices on Aging, Community action agencies, Federally Licensed Health Centers andAll-inclusive care programs for the elderly,” according to michigan.gov.Some agencies will additionally distribute the masks to local partners such as homeless shelters. »

The local AAA has provided masks to several community organizations, according to Sutter.

“Community organizations might even request them,” Sutter said. “We donated a few to our county buildings, schools, fitness centers.”

The local agency on aging is part from the BHSJ health agency. According to Sutter, groups often collaborate.

“We work with them on a number of different projects to support people with disabilities and older people,” Sutter said.

While the Regional Agency on Aging only serves Branch and St. Joseph counties, according to Sutter, it provided masks to Hillsdale as part of its partnership with the BHSJ health agency.

“We thought it would be easier and more collaborative to provide one of the boxes of masks we received to the Hillsdale County office so they could distribute them more easily,” Sutter said.

Sutter explained the agency’s purpose.

“Let’s work together to get these masks to anyone who wants them,” Sutter said.