$7 Million Of PPE Left Outside And Damaged By Storms At Bay

$7 million of PPE left outside and damaged by storms at Bay

San Mateo County officers are investigating how hundreds of thousands of {dollars} value of private protecting gear have been left exterior, apparently forgotten, for months earlier than it was broken by storms late final 12 months.

In accordance with a press release Friday by county supervisor Mike Calaghi, officers bought provides within the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic “when nobody knew how lengthy the worldwide provide scarcity would final and jurisdictions throughout the nation to buy protecting gear.” We’re competing … shield first responders and communities.”

As provide chain points eased and hospital-grade gear turned simpler to seek out, demand for the county’s gear fell, Calaghi stated.

He stated county officers labored for months with the California governor’s workplace of emergency providers to supply PPE and different supplies to healthcare suppliers, colleges, different companies and different states.

“However some accepted the supply as a result of dimension, amount, different concerns made them much less appropriate,” Calaghi stated.

Extra PPE and cleansing provides have been moved exterior the San Mateo County Occasion Heart in mid-September to make room for an occasion, he stated.

Provides have been broken by subsequent storms, Calaghi stated, including that the objects ought to have been moved again inside after the incident was over.

“The county is solely liable for our content material on the occasion heart,” he stated. “We’re deeply sorry that this occurred and are hiring an exterior investigator to determine all information associated to the loss and to make suggestions on the right way to keep away from future incidents.”

Most provides embody non-medical-grade isolation robes, face shields, goggles, some sterile robes and miscellaneous cleansing provides reminiscent of bleach, mop buckets and handles, Calaghi stated. Their estimated worth is $70 million.

“Whereas the storm broken a number of the outer packaging, a lot of the provides are individually wrapped,” he stated. “The county is actively inspecting and cleansing up the contents and plans to donate undamaged objects to nonprofits.”

Callaghi stated items of high-grade PPE reminiscent of gloves and masks – together with N95 and KN95 respirators – have been saved indoors in county warehouses and weren’t broken.

“We wish to guarantee our group that this incident didn’t have an effect on the county’s skill to offer security gear to first responders and others responding to COVID-19,” he stated.

The story was first reported by KGO-TV Channel 7 after a reporter acquired a tip about gear left exterior within the rain.

In accordance with the station, upon visiting the incident heart, the reporter discovered 1000’s of bins of apparatus soaked. Some had damaged and scattered their belongings.

Kalagi, who spoke to the station, stated he was not conscious of the scenario till the reporter contacted him.

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