Gov. Newsom announces new contract for purchase of 420 million more masks

Coronavirus

Gov. Gavin Newsom announces new criteria related to coronavirus hospitalizations and testing that could allow counties to open faster than the state, during a news conference at Mustards Grill in Napa, Calif., Monday May 18, 2020. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, Pool)

SACRAMENTO (KGET)– Gov. Gavin Newsom today announced new actions to boost California’s long-term supply of personal protective equipment ahead of the fall season.

The Office of Emergency Services entered into a new contract with California-based BYD North America to produce 120 million N-95 respirators and 300 million surgical masks for the state as part of an effort to increase the state’s PPE stockpile given the recent rise in COVID-19 cases.

“Providing front-line workers the protective equipment they need is critical to our state’s response to COVID-19,” Newsom said. “Securing a reliable supply chain of PPE allows us to distribute millions of protective masks to our essential workforce while preserving millions more in our state’s stockpile for future use.”

Gov. Newsom has directed the Department of Public Health and OES to increase the state’s PPE stockpile to 100 million N-95 respirators and 200 million surgical masks by early fall.

To date, the state has distributed 86.4 million N-95 respirators and 297 million surgical masks to Californians working on the front lines against COVID-19, including workers at hospitals, emergency responders, farm and factory workers and nursing home workers.

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