Officials from the Garden Grove Unified School District gave a big assist to hospital workers in their fight against COVID-19 on Wednesday, delivering more than 1,400 N95 masks and 1,700 surgical masks to UCI Medical Center and CHOC Children’s.
Board of Education Vice President Teri Rocco and School Nurse Department Chair Cheryl Gibbs delivered the gear to executives at both sites and personally thanked their health care staffs for all they’re doing to keep local communities safe and healthy.
“Our health care workers are risking their own lives to help flatten the curve and ensure our families are getting the help they need to fight this virus,” said Rocco. “It’s important that they have access to all available N95 masks to carry out the important and selfless work they do each day.”
Wanting to do more to help their community, teachers at Walton Intermediate School came up with the idea of donating the district’s supply of face masks, officials said. Masks were collected from emergency bags from each of the district’s 67 school sites.
An N95 respirator is a protective device “designed to achieve a very close facial fit and very efficient filtration of airborne particles,” according to the Food and Drug Administration. Surgical masks are loose-fitting, disposable devices that create a physical barrier between the wearer’s mouth and nose and potential contaminants.
“UCI Health is grateful to have friends and neighbors like Garden Grove Unified who have gone out of their way to support our caregivers,” Chad T. Lefteris, CEO of UCI Health, said.
The district’s food service workers are still utilizing non-N95 masks to deliver free meals to families every Monday and Wednesday through Garden Grove’s grab and go meal service program. The remaining masks were unused, as all schools have implemented distance learning.
“Our health care workers are on the front lines in the fight against coronavirus,” school board President Walter Muneton said, “and we want to support them in any way possible.”