NSWALC secures disposable face masks to assist LALCs

30 October 2020

NSWALC has secured a supply of 99,000 single use face masks, which will be distributed to assist Aboriginal communities in New South Wales to deal with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The masks were sourced via a donation from tech giant Apple, which has made significant contributions to assist countries across the globe to deal with the crisis.

NSWALC Chairperson Anne Dennis thanked Apple and the NSW State Government for their assistance in sourcing the masks, noting that ‘this generous donation will go a long way to ensuring that Aboriginal peoples can feel confident and protected as we continue to negotiate the ongoing challenges posed by COVID-19’.

The supply of masks will start being delivered to Local Aboriginal Land Council (LALC) offices from Monday, 2 November 2020. The purpose of the masks is to assist LALCs to hold Members meetings safely in the current COVID-19 environment.

To date Aboriginal communities have dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic very effectively. Unlike the 2009 Swine Flu pandemic, which devastated Aboriginal communities, our peoples have successfully limited the spread of the Coronavirus.

Through the tireless work of Aboriginal community controlled organisations and NSW Health, Aboriginal peoples have maintained testing rates significantly higher than the mainstream population, and currently represent just one per cent of COVID-19 cases in New South Wales.

Coupled with adequate measures enforcing social distancing, hand sanitation and strict venue capacities, the masks will help LALCs to begin to hold meetings on a more regular basis as New South Wales moves towards a ‘COVID normal’ society.

Each LALC will receive a minimum supply of four masks per voting member. Each NSWALC Zone Office will also receive a supply of masks, which will be distributed on a discretionary basis to Aboriginal communities in need.

LALCs are advised that the masks are for single use only, meet with the P2 respirator standard, and are safe for civil use. The masks are not approved for use by medical practitioners, and should be disposed of safely after use.

If you have any questions around the distribution of these masks please contact Sarah Harvey on 0437 710 899 or at sarah.harvey@alc.org.au.

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