Trenton, N.J. — Mayor W. Reed Gusciora announced today that on May 27 the city received a gift of an additional 140,000 KN95 masks, which are equivalent to N95 masks, and a $200,000 grant to fund the city’s Covid-19 homeless shelter from the CDC Foundation, a private nonprofit created by Congress to support the public health work of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“We are immensely grateful to the CDC Foundation for its leadership and generosity during the unprecedented public health crisis that has overwhelmed local governments across America,” said Mayor Gusciora. “As we continue to execute our plan to keep Trenton residents safe, we are also establishing partnerships with key organizations to capture technical expertise and resources to get through this pandemic.”
Douglas H. Palmer, former City of Trenton Mayor and former president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, introduced the Gusciora administration to the leadership at the Atlanta-based CDC Foundation in March and was instrumental in facilitating a strong partnership between the two.
“A pathway to protecting our residents from Covid-19, especially the most vulnerable citizens in dense urban centers, is through strategic partnerships. We are finding ways to connect people with organizations that can provide critical resources to improve safety and support during the pandemic,” said Mr. Palmer, who served as Trenton’s Mayor from 1990 to 2010. “We are grateful for the assistance of the CDC Foundation as we navigate these challenges. I love my city, and together we will survive and thrive.”
To date, Trenton has received 190,000 KN95 masks from the CDC Foundation—30,000 in April and 160,000 in May. The city’s Department of Health and Human Services will use the $200,000 grant to run the Covid-19 shelter, which gives aid and comfort to homeless adults infected with the virus. The shelter, located at 509 Perry Street in Trenton, opened in March, providing services to more than 15 homeless city residents.
N95 masks, which have been in short supply nationally since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, are the personal protective equipment (PPE) most often used to control exposure to infections transmitted through the air and from liquid contamination of the face. The city plans to distribute its supply to city departments to protect Trenton municipal government’s workforce, partner organizations and healthcare workers.
The CDC does not recommend that the general public wear N95 masks, but instead cloth masks or coverings, because the nation’s N95 mask supply should be reserved for health care workers and other medical first responders.
The City of Trenton is taking other measures to prioritize public safety. Organizations like Trenton Health Team (THT) are partnering with the Gusciora administration to raise awareness about safe health practices during the pandemic. The organization recently launched a billboard campaign throughout city neighborhoods to promote health safety, such as washing hands, social distancing and wearing face masks in public, because "lives depend on you."
"We know people can spread Covid-19 before they have any symptoms or realize they might be infected," said THT Executive Director Gregory Paulson. "Wearing a mask is one way to protect against making others sick by sneezing or coughing or even just breathing on them. It shows you care about your neighbors and your community."
To learn more about the city’s Covid-19 Coronavirus response, go online to trentonnj.org.
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Images from today’s event can be accessed at the following OneDrive link:
Please direct all media requests to:
Acting Public Information Officer
Office of the Mayor W. Reed Gusciora
City of Trenton
319 E. State Street
Trenton, NJ 08608
Cell Phone: 609-789-7272