Respirator Masks Distributed By Public Health

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Respirator Masks Distributed By Public Health
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(Photo: Direct Relief)

Update by the Public Health Department
December 14, 2017

FREE MASK DISTRIBUTION FOR THURSDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2017

Over 300,000 N-95 masks have been distributed to communities in Santa Barbara County affected by unhealthy levels of smoke from the Thomas Fire.

The N-95 masks will continue to be distributed to areas of the county experiencing air that is unhealthy or unhealthy for sensitive groups as measured by the Air Pollution Control District.

Mask distribution continues to be a collaborative effort of Direct Relief, the Santa Barbara Medical Reserve Corps, area Cities and CERT volunteers, the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department, and libraries. There is no charge for the mask.

The following sites will have N-95 masks available on Thursday, December 14th:

  • Goleta Valley Community Center, (5679 Hollister Ave) 1pm – 7 pm
  • Goleta City Hall, (130 Cremona Drive) 8am – 5pm
  • Santa Barbara Public Library (40 East Anapamu Street, Santa Barbara) 10 am-7pm
  • Carpinteria, Albertsons Shopping Center (1018 Casitas Pass Rd) 10am - 4pm
  • Buellton CVS, ask store staff (218 East Hwy 246, Buellton) 8 am-10 pm

 

N-95 masks require a tight seal to be effective and as a result the available adult sized masks will provide only limited protection for most children. N-95 masks when fitted properly provide some protection from the fine particles in smoke. Ordinary dust masks and surgical masks do not provide this protection.

Individuals with heart and lung conditions should consult their health care provider before using an N-95 mask.

Please note that your mask can be used for multiple days provided it is not damaged. Agricultural and other outdoor workers may need to use a new mask daily.


Update by the Public Health Department
December 12, 2017

Free Mask Distribution For Tuesday, December 12

Due to continued unhealthy air conditions resulting from the Thomas Fire, free N-95 masks will be distributed as part of a coordinated effort of the Santa Barbara Medical Reserve Corps, City of Carpinteria CERT, City of Lompoc CERT, and Direct Relief.  The sites that will distribute on Tuesday, December 12 are listed below.  


Update by the Public Health Department
December 11, 2017

A new free distribution site has been established in Buellton. Free N-95 masks are now being distributed at the Buellton CVS, 218 E Highway 246 in Buellton, during regular hours and while supplies last. The complete and most up to date sites that will distribute free N-95 masks are listed below.

  • Costco in the Camino Real Marketplace (7095 Market Pl Drive, Goleta), 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
  • Franklin Community Center (1136 East Montecito Street, Santa Barbara), 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
  • Albertson’s in Carpinteria (1018 Casitas Pass Road, Carpinteria) 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Santa Barbara Public Library, 40 East Anapamu Street, 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.
  • Lompoc Home Depot (1701 East Ocean, Lompoc), 7 a.m. - 9 p.m.
  • Buellton CVS, (218 E Highway 246, Buellton), 8 a.m. - 10 p.m.

Update by the Public Health Department
December 10, 2017

THOMAS FIRE: Free Mask Distribution for Monday, December 11, 2017
 
Due to continued unhealthy air conditions resulting from the Thomas Fire, free N-95 masks will be distributed as part of a coordinated effort of the Santa Barbara Medical Reserve Corps, City of Carpinteria CERT, City of Lompoc CERT, Santa Barbara County Public Health Department, CAL OES, and Direct Relief. The sites that will distribute on Monday, December 11th are listed below:

Update by the Public Health Department
December 9, 2017

Additional Mask Site Announced for Today – Saturday, December 9, 2017

Due to continued unhealthy air conditions resulting from the Thomas Fire free N-95 masks will be distributed as part of a coordinated effort of the Santa Barbara Medical Reserve Corps, City of Carpinteria CERT, and Direct Relief. There are five sites that will distribute on Saturday, December 9th.

Hours and locations are listed below.

 

Please note that the N-95 masks require a tight seal to be effective and as a result the available adult sized masks will provide only limited protection for most children. N-95 masks when fitted properly provide some protection from the fine particles in smoke. Ordinary dust masks and surgical masks do not provide this protection.  Masks will be available as supplies last.

Free Mask Distribution for Sunday, December 10, 2017

  • Costco in the Camino Real Marketplace (7095 Market Pl Drive, Goleta),10am-2pm
  • Franklin Community Center (1136 East Montecito Street, Santa Barbara), 10am-12pm
  • Albertson’s in Carpinteria (1018 Casitas Pass Road, Carpinteria),10 am-4pm
  • Santa Barbara Public Library, 40 East Anapamu Street,  1pm-5pm

Update by the Public Health Department

December 8, 2017

PUBLIC HEALTH ADVISORY: CHILDREN’S HEALTH AND SMOKE

The N95 masks being distributed in Santa Barbara County are designed for adults. However, these masks may fit a child if their face is comparable in size to that of a petite adult. The key to knowing if an N95 mask fits effectively is whether an airtight seal can be created around the edges of the mask once it is on the face and pressed into place across the nose. The airtight seal around the perimeter of the mask is what determines if the mask can effectively filter particles. Check for an airtight seal to know if the N95 mask is a good fit.

Children, particularly small children and infants, can be more affected by inhaling smoke particles than adults. Because their body mass is smaller, children exposed to the same amount of smoke as adults are more likely to have symptoms. Small particles (10 micron diameter or less) get deep into the lungs and affect ability to breathe and exchange oxygen. It is important for families with small children to be aware that even if adults in the household have no symptoms, children may be experiencing them.

The air quality index in Santa Barbara/ Goleta has been in the “unhealthy / hazardous” range for 3 days. This can have a build-up effect, particularly on children, as the particles accumulate in their lungs. Even if the air quality index is slightly improved in the coming days, otherwise healthy individuals may begin to experience symptoms.

Public Health is advising everyone, but particularly those with small children, to “give your lungs a break” by relocating for at least a few hours to a region with cleaner air if you are able. Even spending 6 hours in clean air can improve breathing and lessen other symptoms associated with smoke exposure. If families are not able to leave the area, stay indoors with all windows closed and consider local indoor activities for children such as movie theaters or recreational spaces.

Some other things to keep in mind:

• Even with the use of a mask, consider limiting time spent outdoors, particularly when air quality is unhealthy.

• Kids with asthma or other medical conditions may consider consulting their doctors first, as the mask can reduce airflow.

• Conditions can change quickly so check air quality at www.OurAir.org


Update by the Public Health Department
December 8, 2017

RESPONSE TO THOMAS FIRE…PARTNERSHIP MAKES IT POSSIBLE

Just as there is a Unified Command for firefighting on the front lines of the Thomas Fire, there are partnerships behind the scenes that make all of the information regarding air quality, distribution of masks for residents, announced evacuations, sheltering for people and animals, etc. flowing smoothly.

Partnerships with Direct Relief and the Medical Reserve Corp have made an enormous difference getting masks to county residents to protect them from the harmful effects of unhealthy air. Direct Relief, whose mission is to “improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty and emergencies” has donated thousands of N 95 masks to distribute in the community. The Medical Reserve Corp, local residents who work in the healthcare profession and volunteer during disasters, have volunteered countless hours distributing masks at various sites across the county. More than 25,000 masks were delivered through this partnership yesterday and it is anticipated that at least that many will be distributed again today.

N95 masks will be distributed at the following three locations today until supplies run out:

  • Costco in the Camino Real Marketplace (7095 Market Pl Drive, Goleta),10am
  • Franklin Community Center (1136 East Montecito Street, Santa Barbara), 10am
  • Albertson’s in Carpinteria (1018 Casitas Pass Road, Carpinteria),10 am
  • Montecito (Upper Village, 1400 block of E. Valley Road),1pm

 

 

The Air Pollution Control District and Public Health Departments are working together to assess air quality, to identify health impacts and to inform the community about safeguarding individual health protection. As a partnership we work to keep our community informed and healthy.

In the animal world, County Animal Services is grateful to Equine Evac who is providing care for large animals at Earl Warren. There were 338 animals, 240 of which were horses, at Earl Warren under the watchful eye of Equine Evac volunteers on Thursday, December 7. At the same time county partners at the Santa Barbara Humane Society are providing safe, quality care for 241 evacuated animals at their site.

There are also facilities for people who have evacuated their homes and need temporary sheltering. UCSB, the Red Cross, Department of Social Services, and the Public Health Department all play crucial roles in assuring there is a safe place, food and essentials for those who have been forced to leave their homes.

We are fortunate to live in a region so dedicated in coming together as a community supporting each other while our fire departments work to tame the Thomas Fire.


Update by the Public Health Department
December 7, 2017

SOUTH COUNTY MASK DISTRIBUTION SITES ON DEC. 8

N95 masks will be distributed Friday, December 8th at the following three locations, beginning at 10:00 am:

  • Costco in the Camino Real Marketplace (7095 Market Pl Drive, Goleta)
  • Franklin Community Center (1136 East Montecito Street, Santa Barbara)
  • Albertson’s in Carpinteria (1018 Casitas Pass Road, Carpinteria)

 

Due to limited supplies, no more than two masks are being given per person. There are no exceptions to the number of masks that will be provided per person. It is important to note that these masks do not fit children properly.


Source: Public Health Department
December 7, 2017

SOUTH COUNTY MASK DISTRIBUTION SITES ON DEC. 7:

  • Costco in Goleta beginning at 11 am – 4:30 pm on Thursday 12/7/17.
  • Franklin Community Center at 1136 East Montecito Street beginning at 1:00-4:30 pm on Thursday 12/7/17
  • Carpinteria City Hall 11:30 am – 4pm, 5775 Carpinteria Ave

With the Thomas Fire continuing to burn it is anticipated that there will be continued concerns about air quality. N95 masks, when fitted properly, offer some limited protection from fine particles in smoke. Ordinary dust masks and surgical masks are not effective.

There are not enough masks to provide one for everyone in South County. These masks are best for those with sensitivities who have to be outdoors for short periods of time. These masks do not filter out all harmful gases. They also must fit properly to be effective.

Carefully read and follow the proper instructions (attached) to create a fitted seal around the nose and mouth.

Note: N95 masks do not come in sizes suitable for small children. All children, and especially those with asthma or other chronic health conditions, should avoid outdoor activity that would expose them to breathing in smoky air for extended periods of time. People who use inhalers for asthma or other conditions should make sure they have access to their inhaler, and refill prescriptions if necessary.

For more information call (805) 681-4373.

Reported by an edhat reader

There are long lines at Costco and they may already be out. The lines are not moving.

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17 Comments

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elderswimmer Dec 11, 2017 12:35 PM
Respirator Masks Distributed By Public Health

As usual Santa Maria is the unwanted stepchild. We had very poor air yesterday with visible ash drifting everywhere. All hardware stores are sold out. Marian Hospital does not have them. County health says they may give them out today (Monday) . Meantime despite my inhalers I am an eighty year old asthmatic who had two massive attacks last night. The sky is turning dark orange now. Not blaming elite - but wouldliketo survive this.

Roger Dec 14, 2017 10:31 AM
Respirator Masks Distributed By Public Health

I'm sorry Elder Swimmer I have asthma too it's hard to breath this ash I don't go out much because of my arthritis..What helps some with my asthma is Atavin aka lorzepam it helps calm my nerves when I'm having problems breathing if that is not available a regular paper bag helps some when I breath into it slowly...I have heard the smoke is rougher up there I would call Direct Relief International directly and see if someone working there lives in North County...

a-1513505102 Dec 11, 2017 08:39 AM
Respirator Masks Distributed By Public Health

Good advice to use a mask but let's be more calm. According to the California Department of Health and Human Services, ash deposited by forest/brush fires is relatively nontoxic and similar to ash found in fireplaces. Obviously it should be respected but it is not radioactive and poisonous per se. Too many people are running around frightened already.

a-1513505102 Dec 11, 2017 12:54 PM
Respirator Masks Distributed By Public Health

It's not the content of the ash that harms you. It's the particle size. The smaller particles are inhaled deeply into your lungs, where they adhere to the alveoli tissue, which gets irritated and calcifies. You end up with lungs that aren't able to expand any more, like in emphysema. It may take a while, but it's not a pleasant way to kick the bucket.

a-1513505102 Dec 11, 2017 08:16 AM
Respirator Masks Distributed By Public Health

I suspect that due to the distance from the fires the effects from smoke and ash is severely reduced. I don't doubt you are feeling the affects but those who are closer are feeling it a lot worse, elite privileges notwithstanding.

EastBeach Dec 09, 2017 11:41 AM
Respirator Masks Distributed By Public Health

Heavy ashfall in SB's east side right now. If the round N95 masks don't fit you well, try the rectangular masks with two straps. They open up like a bellows and I found they fit really well. Alpha Protech is the brand they handed out at my workplace. Think I saw them handed out at one of the tables @Costco.

Flicka Dec 08, 2017 01:50 PM
Respirator Masks Distributed By Public Health

I was getting out of my car Tuesday when a man stopped in the middle of the street and handed me a mask, the kind with a filter on it. I heard Albertsons in Carp had them yesterday, may be out now.

TWOSCOOPS Dec 08, 2017 12:20 PM
Respirator Masks Distributed By Public Health

Friday, today 8 Dec., at noon, we got two masks at Costco out front, easy parking, no line. Very efficient. Thank you, DRI, and Medical Reserve Corp! And, thank you Costco.

a-1513505102 Dec 07, 2017 11:16 PM
Respirator Masks Distributed By Public Health

Thanks Edhat for being the BEST source of news during fires and other emergencies. I just became a paid subscriber and encourage others to do the same (over 125K views just today! come on neighbors, step up and support this work by our fellow community members! Keep up the great work (and hope everyone at Edhat is safe and sound during this latest emergency (Thomas Fire)).

EastBeach Dec 07, 2017 11:03 PM
Respirator Masks Distributed By Public Health

Good job DRI (Direct Relief International)! They were out there distributing masks at Costco today. Please consider donating to them as part of your charity contributions. They're a very efficient organization with little overhead.

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