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Prison donates masks to WellSpan, UPMC

York County Prison officials delivered masks — 1,000 each to WellSpan Health and UPMC Pinnacle — thanks to responsible stewardship by the prison's facilities staff.

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Planning began in January at the prison when administrators began hearing about the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. The masks had been in stock at the prison, which also received a shipment of 4,000 from the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections for inmates to wear.

"The prison maintains a supply of masks to use for protecting staff and inmates from infectious disease and pandemic influenza," said Warden Clair Doll. "Our facility manager, John McCoy, and commander Shawn Rohrbaugh and their teams were instrumental in recognizing the COVID-19 concern early on and securing additional personal protective equipment for the staff and inmates."

As a result, the county was able to donate critical resources to the county's two biggest healthcare providers. Both organizations provide support to York County Prison through their health systems, Doll said.

"The county has been collaborating closely with WellSpan and UPMC throughout this public health crisis," said York County President Commissioner Julie Wheeler. "This is one way we can support their efforts to help keep our community safe."

The donations are part of the 100 Million Mask Challenge, launched by the American Hospital Association.

The prison has more than 500 employees and houses around 1,200 inmates, many of who have made masks that the prison has distributed to some county departments for employees to wear. McCoy estimates inmates have made at least 500 to date.

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