(Camden, NJ) – Both the Cooper Foundation and the Norcross Foundation are donating approximately 60,000 reusable masks to the Camden County Police Department and the Camden County Department of Health for distribution into the community. The masks were picked up today by the CCPD today and distributed to residents throughout the city’s 21 different neighborhoods.
“This generous donation will go a long way for the residents of the city in slowing the spread,” Chief Joe Wysocki said. “I want to thank the foundations for making this purchase and providing this resource to the residents and organizations of Camden.”
George E. Norcross, III, the chairman of the Cooper Board of Trustees and founder of the Norcross Foundation, and Phillip A. Norcross, the chair of The Cooper Foundation, announced the two Foundations will begin distributing more than 175,000 reusable and washable fabric facemasks to patients, employees, and the members of its community to reduce the spread of COVID-19 tomorrow. At the start of the pandemic, The Cooper Foundation began a dedicated fund to provide Cooper’s clinical team the needed personal protection equipment (PPE). George Norcross and The Norcross Foundation were among the first donors to the new effort.
Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli Jr. talked about the importance of masks for the community at large.
“I want to thank the foundations for their generosity with this important resource for our residents,” Cappelli said. “Masks and social distancing will be a necessary tool for our residents until we have a vaccine or antiviral. Until we have therapeutics available and on the market masks will be mandatory.”
Over the next few weeks, additional masks will be distributed to residents in Burlington and Gloucester counties as well as patients at Cooper offices and Cooper University Hospital. Future distributions will be coordinated with local officials to ensure that the most at-risk communities receive priority.
“The health of the community and our patients is always our top priority and these facemasks are just another way we can demonstrate our commitment to those we serve,” said Kevin O’Dowd, JD, co-president/CEO of Cooper.
The CCPD picked up the first 14,000 masks and started distribution at the Walter Rand Transportation Center, Guadalupe Family Services and outside the grocery stores in the city including Cousin’s Market and PriceRite. In addition, the county Health Department will include the face coverings as part of their public health campaign in vulnerable neighborhoods. Working alongside local elected officials in towns throughout Camden County these masks will be given out along with educational material and hand sanitizer.
“Wearing a facemask is a simple way to keep yourself and others healthy when you are out and around others. As New Jersey begins to slowly open, we are happy to be able to provide masks to those we serve as an easy way to stay healthy,” said Anthony J. Mazzarelli, MD, JD, MBE, co-president/CEO of Cooper.