The Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department’s Supermileage Vehicle Team (SMV) has donated four cases of N95 protective masks to healthcare workers, a donation totaling 480 of the desperately needed masks. According to Robert Laford, the assistant director for Emergency Management and Business Continuity in Environmental Health and Safety and Emergency Management at UMass Amherst, the masks were shared among Cooley Dickinson Hospital, Baystate Hospital, and UMass Medical Center.
“The items were originally donated by the 3M Company to the SMV team,” said Administrative Officer Sharon Como of the MIE department, “but it would be in the best interest of everyone to give them to our healthcare workers in this time of need.”
Como and Dana Parsons, the laboratory manager in the MIE Department, were instrumental in making the N95 mask donation available to medical responders.
“What a great donation!” replied Laford. “Thank you. The masks were definitely put to use!”
The N95 respirator mask is a particulate-filtering facepiece that meets the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health standard of air filtration, which indicates that it can filter at least 95 percent of airborne particles. The masks have been in very short supply in hospitals and other healthcare facilities since the COVID 19 pandemic began and are absolutely necessary equipment in such facilities for healthcare personnel to attain partial protection from the virus. (May 2020)