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Community pulls together to get extra medical supplies 

 

The Boyle County Health Department has received its allotment of personal protective equipment (PPE) from the Strategic National Stockpile, which will be distributed to the local hospital, first responders and physicians as they prepare to handle an influx of COVID-19 cases.

And from 10 a.m to noon on Monday, local physicians and staff can drive to the back of the health department to pick up their free, extra supply of masks offered, without leaving their vehicles. 

The Strategic National Stockpile is the nation’s largest supply of potentially life-saving pharmaceuticals and medical supplies for use in a public health emergency severe enough to cause local supplies to run out, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ website.

Public Health Director Brent Blevins said his office received three large pallets of supplies on Wednesday afternoon, which mostly consisted of surgical masks, along with a limited number of N-95 masks, surgical gloves and gowns.

The extra supplies will be doled out to Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center and local EMS. “Then they trickle down to the fire departments, police and sheriff’s office,” which are the first responders, Blevins said.

He is also taking masks to the five local assisted, personal and long-term care facilities for their staff.

On Friday, the United Way donated 40 bags, which the health department filled with masks, and will be available to physicians.

Blevins said every county can request PPE from the federal stockpile, but the amount of supplies received are based on the county’s needs. He said because Boyle has a regional hospital, a prison, a large jail and a college, his office received a large amount of supplies.

Blevins requested the PPE Wednesday morning. He was notified his allotment — which was three large pallets full of boxes, was ready for pickup at 1 p.m. that day;  he didn’t expect it to be ready until later in the week.

Clay Albright, and his dad, John, along with county employees drove three trucks to Frankfort to pick up the supplies and were headed back to Danville by 3 p.m. By 4:30 the pallets had been unloaded into the EMS garage. And on Thursday, the supplies started being distributed throughout the area, Blevins said.

The Albright son and father duo, “Did it all on their own,” Blevins said. It was a rainy, dreary day, “and they just jumped in with the county. It was a huge help.”