By Emma Robinson, Staff Writer
Nassau County Legislator Joshua Lafazan, who also teaches a course on foundations of entrepreneurship, hosted a donation drive for personal protective equipment (PPE) on Saturday, March 28, with the Syosset-Woodbury Chamber of Commerce and Accounting Brew at the Syosset Library.
“Quite frankly, our healthcare workers are on the frontlines of the war against the virus,” Lafazan said. “We want to make sure they are protected and equipped with everything they need.”
The 26-year-old legislator said it was his job as an elected official to put people together and mobilize for action, which is how the idea of the donation drive came about.
Supplies needed include N95 and surgical masks, eye protection like goggles or face shields, no-touch thermometers, HEPA filters for ventilators, hand sanitizer, disinfectant cleaners, medical gloves, disposable medical gowns, and medical shoe covers.
Before the drive began, Lafazan had already started receiving donations.
“We expect the drive to go great, we’ve already received 500 masks from the East End Group,” Lafazan said.
Supplies donated will be given to the Nassau County Office of Emergency Management to undergo protocols to sanitize the donated items for distribution.
Brianna LoBianco, a senior health science major, works at Northwell Urgent Care calling patients into the exam room, gathering information about the patients for the doctors, and performing care testing.
“Lately, the patient flow has increased tremendously because everyone is concerned about possible exposure to coronavirus,” LoBianco said.
Northwell Urgent Care can only test essential workers for the COVID-19 because of orders from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, according to LoBianco.
“There are times I feel extremely grateful and proud to be able to help those in need and there are times I feel scared and anxious [about the pandemic],” LoBianco said.
Lafazan and his office offer additional ways to help aid the public during the COVID-19 outbreak, including a senior shopping initiative for those above age 50 in Nassau County.
“It’s where a senior who cannot leave their house, or is too nervous to, can call my office and we’ll pair them with a volunteer to go shopping with them,” Lafazan said.
For more information or to volunteer he can be reached at his office phone number, (516) 571-6218.
LoBianco urges people to stay inside their homes unless they absolutely cannot.
“The number of positive cases is increasing day by day and it’s so important that we stop the spread of this,” LoBianco said.