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Coronavirus Protection: Massachusetts To Give Respirator Masks To All Police, Firefighters

BOSOTN (CBS) -- Massachusetts is making sure all firefighters and police officers in the state will get a mask to protect against the coronavirus. Gov. Charlie Baker announced Friday that the state will be distributing nearly 200,000 masks.

"Effective today the Commonwealth will distribute respirator masks to all local law enforcement officers and firefighters statewide during the COVID-19 response," Baker said. "This includes sheriffs and university police."

The COVID-19 Response Command Center and Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency is coordinating the distribution to all communities in the state.

"This distribution is going on as we speak, and tens of thousands of masks have already been distributed to our first responders," Baker said. "We must work closely with them to determine how many masks each first responder needs."

Baker said each first responder will get five masks - equivalent to one month's supply - as well as a spare.

In Boston, police say 67 officers have tested positive for the coronavirus. Office Jose Fontanez was the first active duty officer in the city to die of the virus.


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