A severe shortage of gear that can protect healthcare workers from COVID-19 has prompted Los Angeles County officials to advise doctors and nurses to reuse face masks and wear gowns and masks that are expired, a desperate attempt to conserve supplies amid the pandemic.
In an urgent alert sent to providers on Wednesday, officials from the L.A. County public health department said COVID-19 infections are rapidly rising in the county and that staff need to implement these measures now, before a massive wave of patients hits.
The county has ordered more protective gear, but its stockpile is currently completely depleted of masks — both surgical masks and the more protective N95 respirators — and is running low on everything else, according to the advisory.
The news has heightened fears among providers.
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