Big Island Coronavirus Updates

Community Donates PPE to Hawai‘i Police Department

April 23, 2020, 2:31 PM HST
* Updated April 24, 8:17 AM
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Courtesy of Hawai’i Police Department

Donations of personal protective equipment have been given to Hawai‘i Police Department in the wake of an officer testing positive for COVID-19.

The PPE will be given to all uniformed officers as they continue to serve the public during this pandemic.

“It is always heartwarming to know that our officers are appreciated by members of the community, and we are so ever grateful for the outpouring of support during this difficult time,” said HPD Chief Paul Ferreira.

Dr. Joan M. Greco, Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon, of Hawaiʻi Island, donated 345 custom made 3D Masks with N95 filter inserts to the Hawaiʻi Police Department for dissemination to the uniformed officers in the field. The masks can be used by the officers as regular cloth facial coverings or provide maximum protection with N95 inserts when necessary.

Greco donated a sufficient number of masks to issue to each of the uniformed officers in the field throughout the island.

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Other donations came from Home Depot providing 183 respirators, gloves, and face shields; and Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaiʻi (VASH) donating 90 cloth masks. Cloth masks were also donated by 7-11, Dr. Boyd and Ann Daikawa Castro of Hilo Vet Clinic, and Kristen Thario of Big Island Pulse.

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At this point, Ferreira said, officers should be wearing masks when interacting unless there is a belief of being exposed to the virus. If that is the case, officers should use other equipment for additional protection.

Officers were required to wear masks after Mayor Kim’s recent mandate requiring the face coverings.

As of Thursday afternoon, more than 50 employees have been tested for COVID-19.

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After the report of the positive test of an officer, the Kona Station was sanitized over the weekend by employees of the Department of Public Works. Prior to the positive test, janitorial staff has been sanitizing work areas at police stations islandwide several times a day.

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