Southwick Board of Health receives state funds

The Southwick Select Board remote meeting April 14, 2020. (HOPE E. TREMBLAY/THEWESTFIELD NEWS)

SOUTHWICK – The Southwick Board of Health received funding this week through the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission.

Chief Administrative Officer Karl Stinehart told the Select Board about the funds during its regular meeting April 14 online via Zoom. He said the funds were given to communities from the state through planning agencies. Southwick received $7,052.

Select Board Chairman Russell Fox said he hoped to earmark it for personal protective equipment.

“Could I suggest to the Board of Health to use the money to purchase PPE for first responders,” said Fox.

Stinehart said that the Board of Health has purchased PPE for the town nurse and that first responders have been taken care of through funds from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.

“In addition, our [police and fire] chiefs have been able to score them,” Stinehart said.

Stinehart did say it there could be a need for masks and plexiglass shields once Town Hall is open to the public again.

“We may very well need some of those,” he said of PPE.

Fox said while there is a “light at the end of the tunnel,” he worried the town could need a PPE stockpile.

“There’s the possibility of this coming back in the fall or winter,” he said.

Stinehart said there are concerns with the lifespan of some equipment and that a second coronavirus has been discussed with Health Director Tammy Spencer.

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