SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Amid pleas from healthcare workers for more protection against coronavirus, 39 million “critically needed” N95 masks have been located and will be delivered to healthcare workers in California and New York within the next week, the Service Employees International Union announced on Thursday.
The SEIU – United Healthcare Workers West said the masks (model 1860) have all been cleared for use by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, which is part of the CDC.
“We want the masks to be distributed as widely as possible. Unfortunately, we don’t have enough to go beyond California and New York, and so far hospitals in Arizona have not responded to an offer of 2 million masks, but as we locate more masks we want to expand the circulation as much as possible,” SEIU-UHW President DaveRegan said.
The union, which has 97,000 members who work in hospitals across California, said it also discovered additional suppliers who would be able to produce 20 million more masks a week and millions of face shields.
“SEIU-UHW members and healthcare workers all over California are desperate for more protection, so we are seeking out supplies wherever we can get them,” Regan said. “We are continuing to turn over every rock to see if we can find more personal protective equipment to make sure that healthcare workers, who are heroically putting their own health on the line to care for patients, can do their jobs as safely as possible.”