Advanced Vein Care Center donates N95 masks to local schools


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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A doctor’s office in Springfield donated thousands of N95 masks to schools in western Massachusetts.

According to a news release sent to 22News from Market Mentors, Advanced Vein Care Center donated 33,000 N95 masks to students and staff at schools in Springfield, Holyoke and Chicopee, as well as Veritas Prep Charter School in Springfield.

“With the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in our area, we wanted to do something to assist the hardworking teachers, support staff and students in our local schools,” said Dr. K. Francis Lee, medical director, Advanced Vein Care Center. “The last thing they should have to worry about is having the right mask to protect them, so we are hoping this donation helps alleviate some stress and brings peace of mind.”

Springfield’s mask mandate is set to be reassessed on March 1st to see if they’ll extend it or lose it. The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education enforces the mask rules. It’s slated to end its mask mandate for schools on February 28.

Governor Charlie Baker said Monday that the school mask mandate remains in effect until the end of the month. He adds that it’s anticipated that at some point soon that the Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education, Jeff Riley, will provide an update.

What makes N95 masks better? According to experts surgical masks reduce the risk of COVID-19
by 66 percent in comparison to someone not wearing one at all. N95 masks reduce the risk by about 83 percent.

The CDC encourages the usage of high filtration masks like N95’s, but these masks sometimes have a higher price tag than the standard masks that are readily available. A pack of 50 N95 masks can be 30 dollars or more.

“It seems like we are constantly ordering masks and it can be hard to make sure everyone who needs a mask has one,” said Brian Harris, the facilities manager for Holyoke Public Schools. “This donation is a huge support and will be put to good use helping our students and staff stay safe.”

“Having a mask on hand when a student loses, forgets or doesn’t have the resources to buy one is very important,” said Rachel Romano, founder and executive director of Veritas Prep. “This donation will help our students and staff focus on the more important work of teaching and learning.”

“Supporting our schools, especially the teachers who are taking care of our children during this pandemic, has always been critically important to me and to our staff in the practice,” continued Dr. Lee. “It was encouraging to hear how these schools could put these masks to good use.  We are hoping for other area businesses to also contribute to help our teachers and support staff in the schools.”

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