Colorado receives protective masks from national stockpile

Colorado counties and tribes at the highest risk from COVID-19 could start receiving masks and other protective equipment to begin distributing to their health care workforce soon.

The Colorado State Emergency Operations Center and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment started shipping the state’s share of supplies from the Strategic National Stockpile on Monday.

The supplies aren’t going to fix the shortage of personal protective equipment that’s straining hospitals in Colorado and across the country, though. The state health department estimated the allowance would supply medical providers’ needs for about one day. Since not every county will receive some, it will last longer in the places that are chosen as recipients.

The stockpile is the federal government’s reserve of supplies for public health emergencies.

Colorado received:

  • 49,200 N95 face masks
  • 115,000 surgical masks
  • 21,420 surgical gowns
  • 21,800 face shields
  • 84 coveralls

The state will divide up the supplies based on counties’ populations; the percentage of their populations older than 65; the number of nursing homes, assisted living facilities and hospitals in their jurisdictions; and whether the county or tribe had received supplies in a previous distribution.

“We are relieved that we have finally received materials from the Strategic National Stockpile, but it’s not nearly enough,” Scott Bookman, the state health department’s incident commander, said in a news release. “We’re going to need more supplies and are grateful to all our partners across the state who are donating supplies and stepping up to help Colorado meet the demand.”

Businesses and groups that have unused protective equipment can arrange to donate it by visiting colorado.gov/cobeoc/business-members-and-vendors.

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