IN OCEAN COUNTY, DONATIONS GIVEN; DONATIONS RECEIVED DURING CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

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Ocean County Government employees recently donated blood during the Ocean County employee blood drive providing 32 successful blood donations.

In addition, some school districts, private citizens, businesses and some dentist offices donated personal protective equipment (PPE) to the Ocean County Office of Emergency Management.

“So many are stepping up to help others while following state and federal mandates that are in place to help curtail the spread of the coronavirus,” said Ocean County Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari. “A spirit of helping and generosity is alive and well in Ocean County. That spirit has never been diminished.”

Vicari and other Ocean County officials are extending their appreciation to all those that have come forward to donate blood, and the personal protective equipment.

“The Ocean County Office of Emergency Management will accept donations of PPE and we appreciate those individuals and organizations that have already provided us with gloves, masks, shoe covers, and other items,” said Ocean County Sheriff Michael G. Mastronardy, County OEM Coordinator. “We are working to assist our emergency responders and our health care providers. The donations we receive are distributed to those men and women working to take care of the citizens in all the communities across the county.”

OEM received donations from Ocean County school districts, dentist offices, health care providers and private citizens.

Anyone wishing to donate PPE can contact Ocean County OEM by emailing OceanCountyEmergencyManagement@co.ocean.nj.us or calling 732-341-3451. Items should NOT just be dropped off.

Vicari noted that just like PPE donations, blood donations are critical at this time.

“Ocean County with the American Red Cross runs blood drives for our employees a few times a year,” Vicari said. “We worked with several county departments to switch the location because the library, which is the usual site is currently closed, and to provide a space where we could make certain all the social distancing requirements were met and everyone was safe.

“At this time, moving the blood drive instead of canceling it was the right thing to do,” Vicari said.

According to Gov. Murphy’s executive order, blood drives may continue to operate but must undertake appropriate mitigation efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 including incorporating social distancing where practicable, collecting blood only from individuals who are healthy and feeling well at the time of donation, conducting temperature screens of both staff and donors before entering a blood drive, requiring the use of PPE, providing hand sanitizer to donors for use before the drive and during the donation process, and frequently sanitizing equipment and workspaces.

Nothing in Executive Order No. 107 (2020) limits, prohibits, or restricts the ability of New Jersey residents to participate in blood drives, including leaving their homes or places of residences to do so.

“Blood donation is essential to ensuring the health of our communities,” said Susan Holliday, Account Executive, American Red Cross Penn Jersey Blood Services. “The need for blood is constant, and volunteer donors are the only source of blood for those in need. Every day patients rely on lifesaving blood transfusions including those who need surgery, victims of car accidents and other emergencies, or patients suffering from cancer.”