Town of Hempstead announces $354K grant to United Way for air filtration units

The Island Now

The Town of Hempstead has launched a new initiative with the United Way of Long Island in an effort to further protect senior citizens from COVID-19.

The $354,492 grant approved by Hempstead Town Supervisor Don Clavin and the Hempstead Town Board will fund the installation of nearly 560 portable medical-grade HEPA air filtration units in at-risk seniors’ homes as well as some doctor offices.

The installation of air filters is intended to improve the air quality of enclosed spaces, particularly for seniors who are at higher risk when exposed to the coronavirus.

“I’d like to once again thank Sen. Schumer for his part in securing this funding that continues to support and protect hundreds of thousands of residents of the Town of Hempstead,” stated Hempstead Town Supervisor Don Clavin. “Our senior population is the most vulnerable to this virus, which is why it is imperative that we do what we can to shield them to the greatest extent possible from the risk of infection.”

The grant announcement was made by Supervisor Clavin and his Town Board colleagues – Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby, Councilman Bruce Blakeman, Councilman Anthony D’Esposito, Councilman Dennis Dunne, Sr., Councilman Tom Muscarella, Councilman Chris Carini, Town Clerk Kate Murray and Receiver Jeanine Driscoll.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 80 percent of Hempstead’s COVID-19 deaths have been from people 62 years or older.

The activities funded by the grant to United Way will assist more than 550 seniors with chronic health risks like Asthma or COPD.

By keeping the air as pure as possible, these residents will have a much lower risk of contracting the airborne coronavirus. Additionally, the funding will also go to help support staff distribute and install these units as well as provide seniors with PPE supplies such as masks, sanitizers, digital thermometers.

“This is a challenging time and United Way is extremely pleased to have the opportunity to help keep seniors safe at home through our partnership with the Town of Hempstead and we believe this program offers great hope in providing needed resources to help seniors live a healthy and full life,” said Theresa Regnante, president and CEO of United Way of Long Island. “The installation of these portable medical-grade HEPA air filtration systems are going to make a dramatic difference, especially for those with chronic health conditions who are at home and sheltering-in-place due to the COVID-19 public health emergency.”

United Way of Long Island has already assisted more than 9,000 Long Islanders during the pandemic and securing these grant funds will ensure they continue their helping mission. The funding received by the United Way was made possible by a $133 million grant the Town of Hempstead received as part of the federal CARES Act, which the Town is using to provide economic relief grants for local businesses to cover COVID-related expenses.

“The Coronavirus is not simply just going to go away, so we need to do what we can to protect all of our residents, especially the most vulnerable,” Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby said. “Thank you to the United Way of Long Island for their efforts to safeguard senior citizens.”

“Our senior citizens are on the top of the list as most at risk to suffer the severe effects of this potentially deadly virus,” Councilman Bruce Blakeman added. “We’re proud to team with the United Way of Long Island to help protect residents during this pandemic.”

“Along with Supervisor Don Clavin and my colleagues on the Hempstead Town Board, we’re proud to announce another important initiative that will play a role in the recovery from COVID-19, while also helping our vulnerable populations navigate the uncertainties of the ongoing pandemic and protect our residents from a second wave,” Councilman Anthony D’Esposito said. “Working with the United Way of Long Island on this program can be helpful in preventing senior citizens from being infected by the Coronavirus.”

“It is imperative that we do what we can to shield our most at-risk populations to the greatest extent possible from being infected by COVID-19,” Councilman Dennis Dunne, Sr., said. “We will continue to pursue and implement initiatives to safeguard our residents as we navigate the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“I’m proud to join with my Town Board colleagues to announce a program that will provide air filtration systems for senior citizens in our township,” Councilman Tom Muscarella said. “By doing so, we are doing our part to help those who are the most at risk to contracting the severe effects of the Coronavirus and furthering our efforts to aid residents during the pandemic.”

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