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Opioid Task Force, Sheriff’s Office distribute PPE

  • From left, Jason Kilgour, assistant superintendent of support services, and Franklin County Sheriff Christopher Donelan hold personal protective equipment that the Sheriff’s Office and Opioid Task Force distributed on Thursday. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Report
Published: 6/26/2020 6:13:56 PM

GREENFIELD — The Opioid Task Force of Franklin County and the North Quabbin Region and the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office distributed free personal protective equipment (PPE) in the lobby of the jail on Thursday.

Sheriff Christopher Donelan, who is also a co-chair of the task force, and other members procured the PPE to prevent the community spread of COVID-19 as area programs and services slowly reopen under the state’s four-phase plan.

According to an Opioid Task Force press release, priority was given to not only first responders and those working with people affected by addiction, but those who are less able to secure PPE through existing means. The equipment included cloth and disposable surgical masks.

“Providing PPE is central to our mission to offer help and hope to those impacted by opioid misuse during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Donelan said. “We want to do what we can to help our treatment and recovery organizations safely reopen and serve the community.”

“We want to remove every possible barrier to help connect individuals to treatment and recovery services,” agreed Northwestern District Attorney David Sullivan, who is also an Opioid Task Force co-chair. “Providing PPE in the community helps everyone stay safe and healthy during this vulnerable time of their lives when they are seeking and receiving help.”

Register of Probate and fellow Opioid Task Force Co-Chair John Merrigan said the legislative delegation has made it possible to provide PPE during a critical time when everyone is adapting to the “new normal” and ways of providing essential services.

Additionally, as a result of a collaboration between Tapestry and the Opioid Task Force, Narcan will be provided to first responders as needed, but requests must be made by calling 413-221-7722 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday through Friday or by emailing narcan@opioidtaskforce.org.

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