Fresno County says that while it has received more than 21,000 N95 respirator masks to protect healthcare workers from the coronavirus, several requests for N95 masks have so far gone unfulfilled.
“On Tuesday, we requested from the state 200,000 N95 masks for hospitals and other providers,” said Fresno County spokesman Jordan Scott in an email to GV Wire. “No time frame on when that request may be fulfilled, but the state has received the request.”
Scott says three weeks ago the county received 21,000 N95 masks for a local hospital, and last week 17 pallets of miscellaneous medical supplies including several thousand masks were received from the state and distributed to hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes.
The FDA says the N95 respirator is a respiratory protective device designed to achieve a very close facial fit and very efficient filtration of airborne particles.
The county continues to submit similar requests as needs arise or as the situation continues to evolve, Scott said.
Health Director asks for Community Donations
On Friday during a teleconference call, Fresno County interim health officer Dr. Rais Vohra asked the community to donate medical supplies for first-responders.
According to the FDA, “The ‘N95’ designation means that when subjected to careful testing, the respirator blocks at least 95 percent of very small (0.3 micron) test particles. If properly fitted, the filtration capabilities of N95 respirators exceed those of face masks. However, even a properly fitted N95 respirator does not completely eliminate the risk of illness or death.”
Kaiser Permanente Develops National Donation Network
Kaiser Permanente is developing a national donation network to ensure an equal distribution of critical supplies across Kaiser Permanente and other health care providers.
According to their website, “Organizations and individuals interested in donating supplies can email information about items they’d like to donate to KPCOVID-19Donations@kp.org. We will contact the donor with further instructions, including how and where to send the donated items.”
Items acceptable for donation include:
- Medical swabs for collecting screening samples
- Medical-grade and industrial-grade N95 masks
- Other masks (surgical, isolation, and all others)
- Gowns (surgical and isolation)
- Face shields
- Antiseptic wipes
- Hand sanitizer