March 26, 2020
PPE SHORTAGES: We’re Doing What the Federal Government Won’t
The federal government still refuses to provide us the PPE we need — so SEIU-UHW members are doing it ourselves:
- We’ve reached an agreement with a supplier to produce 20 million additional N95 masks each week moving forward and to distribute them to hospitals across the state and nation.
- We’ve secured three million face shields — and are currently working with suppliers on other crucial PPE for the impending surge, including isolation gowns, gloves, and scrubs.
The 39 million N95 masks and the other PPE we’ve secured are critical — but they’re not enough. It’s estimated that we will need 3.5 BILLION more N95 masks during this epidemic. Take action right now to force the federal government to start driving a coordinated national response on our PPE needs.
Watch our COVID-19 Live broadcast from last night, featuring frontline caregivers directly tackling the critical PPE shortages we’re facing and what we must do to get the equipment and supplies we need.
ALERT ON MASKS FROM HOME
Members who are not in close contact with COVID-19 patients are often not supplied any masks in hospitals. Many want to bring their own masks from home, whether stock they had or handmade. Until this week, most employers were refusing to allow this — but after we pushed them, Kaiser Permanente, Sutter Health, CommonSpirit Health (Dignity), and others have changed their policy to allow all employees who are not supplied masks at work to bring their own from home if they choose.