Photo: Town of Hempstead
Island Hopping

United Way of Long Island gets grant to protect seniors

Hundreds of senior citizens will be getting air filtration units to improve their indoor air quality and help keep them safe, thanks to a grant from the Town of Hempstead.

The United Way of Long Island is the recipient of the $354,492 grant that will pay for more than 550 portable medical-grade HEPA air filtration units to be installed in at-risk seniors’ homes as well as some doctor offices.

The air filtration systems will be especially helpful for seniors who are at higher risk when exposed to COVID-19. About 80 percent of the town’s coronavirus deaths have been from people 62 years or older, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

By keeping the air as pure as possible, these residents will have a much lower risk of contracting the airborne coronavirus. The funding will also go to help support staff distribute and install these units as well as provide seniors with personal protective equipment such as masks, sanitizers and digital thermometers.

The funding received by the United Way was made possible by a $133 million grant the town received as part of the federal CARES Act.

“This is a challenging time and United Way is extremely pleased to have the opportunity to help keep seniors safe at home through our partnership with the Town of Hempstead and we believe this program offers great hope in providing needed resources to help seniors live a healthy and full life,” Theresa Regnante, president and CEO of United Way of Long Island, said in a written statement. “The installation of these portable medical grade HEPA air filtration systems are going to make a dramatic difference, especially for those with chronic health conditions who are at home and sheltering-in-place due to the COVID-19 public health emergency.”

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