Lynn Unites to Battle COVID-19

Not content to be sidelined by the pandemic, schools, elected officials, and a nonprofit have joined the fight against the coronavirus that has infected 106 Lynn residents and claimed one life.

As the COVID-19 threatens more damage, Lynn Vocational Technical Institute, KIPP Academy Charter School, school nurses, and the Brickyard Collaborative have stepped up to provide personal protective equipment to hospitals and clinics. In addition, the City Council began a food drive last weekend and its 11 members are planning to deliver the goods to needy residents.  

“All of these efforts have made a big difference in people’s lives when you consider equipment shortages at hospitals and the difficulty for some people to get to the supermarket,” Lynn Police Capt. Mark O’Toole told The Journal

The 49-year-old officer was one of two city employees who tested positive for the virus more than two weeks ago. His symptoms included a fever, aches, and the loss of taste and smell, he said.  After being quarantined in his home’s basement for two weeks, his mild case disappeared and O’Toole was cleared to return to work Tuesday. The second city worker, whose ailments mirrored a cold, is back on the job as well.  

Also on Tuesday, School Superintendent Patrick Tutwiler provided the School Committee with details of nearly $62,000 in donated protection gear from the district’s school nurses and Lynn Tech to the Lynn Community Health Center.

Nurses contributed 8,000 gloves, 604 masks, 170 containers of wipes and hand sanitizers, and 22 boxes of thermometers. Lynn Tech provided 5,000 gloves, 350 face masks, and 50 gowns.

“I am very proud of our schools donating supplies to local hospitals,” said School Committeewoman Lorraine Gately. “Lynn is working together to fight this virus. Our teachers are educating students in their homes…remotely. Our mayor and City Council are sponsoring food donations to take care of our seniors and veterans.”

KIPP, Lynn’s only charter school, provided 150 pairs of goggles, 400 gloves, and hundreds of masks from their science department to Everett Hospital.   

“We want to make sure kids are learning, but we are also thinking about how to support families and healthcare providers,” said Caleb Dolan, KIPP’s executive director. “The hospital asked for whatever they can get and we are doing whatever we can to help.” 

Last month, the Brickyard Collaborative, the shared work space on Linden Street, asked its members to sew masks. He said 25 volunteers produced 500 medical-grade masks that were delivered to the Lynn Community Health Center. 

“We like to make stuff with our hands and we’re leveraging people’s creativity,” said Ted Dillard, director. “This is part of a worldwide movement of spaces like us who are putting their shoulder to the wheel and coming through with products the industry and government can’t deliver right now.”

Cynthia Steger-Wilson, a spokeswoman for the Lynn Community Health Center, expressed appreciation for the generosity. “These donations have been very meaningful because they allow us to provide services to patients who potentially have the coronavirus,” she said. “Their generosity also keeps our wellness clinics open for anyone with a chronic disease.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.