Supplies Of Tests, Masks Strained
Americans can't get covid tests and N95 masks one year into the pandemic. Even hospitals have trouble finding masks. And yet they are being exported.
1 In 4 People Unable To Get A Covid-19 Test When They Wanted One
As the U.S. struggles to contain the Covid-19 pandemic, nearly a quarter of Americans say they wanted to get tested for the coronavirus but were unable to do so, according to the latest survey from STAT and The Harris Poll. (Silverman, 2/15)
The Wall Street Journal:
The U.S. Bought Rapid Covid-19 Tests To Help Control The Virus. Now Many Are Unused.
The U.S. government distributed millions of fast-acting tests for diagnosing coronavirus infections at the end of last year to help tamp down outbreaks in nursing homes and prisons and allow schools to reopen. But some states haven’t used many of the tests, due to logistical hurdles and accuracy concerns, squandering a valuable tool for managing the pandemic. The first batches, shipped to states in September, are approaching their six-month expiration dates. (Abbott and Krouse, 2/15)
In news about masks —
Hospitals Still Ration Medical N95 Masks As Stockpiles Swell
Mike Bowen’s warehouse outside Fort Worth, Texas, was piled high with cases of medical-grade N95 face masks. His company, Prestige Ameritech, can churn out 1 million masks every four days, but he doesn’t have orders for nearly that many. So he recently got approval from the government to export them. “I’m drowning in these respirators,” Bowen said. On the same day 1,000 miles north, Mary Turner, a COVID-19 intensive care nurse at a hospital outside Minneapolis, strapped on the one disposable N-95 respirator allotted for her entire shift. (Dearen, Linderman and Mendoza, 2/16)
Hospitals Face Severe Shortages As Pandemic Grinds Forward
Hospitals around the country say their supplies of crucial medical supplies including personal protective equipment (PPE) are lower than ever as demand for different items has soared to an all-time high. (Bowden, 2/14)
Montana Governor Lifts State Mask Mandate
Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte (R) lifted the state's mask mandate Friday, fulfilling a campaign pledge, after he said the state has made significant progress vaccinating the most vulnerable against COVID-19. Gianforte has been a vocal opponent to the mask mandate, which was signed into law by his predecessor, Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock, in July. (Weixel, 2/12)