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Medical professionals concerned over supply shortage of protective masks

Posted: 7:05 PM, Mar 24, 2020
Updated: 2020-03-26 12:26:51-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — At a time when personal protective equipment is in short supply, a nurse at an area hospital sent WPTV NewsChannel 5 a picture of what he calls his coronavirus protection kit: An N-95 protective mask and a brown paper bag.

In medical facilities throughout the area, medical professionals are told to place their masks in the bag during their breaks and then reuse the same mask for the rest of their shifts.

A representative for the union that represents dozens of nurses said hospitals are stretching their resources in a time of shortages.

"By the CDC guidelines, they're going down the 'what do we do when we're in short supply?' And they're trying to do it the correct way," said union representative Betsy Marville.

Hospital representatives told Contact 5 they are following CDC rules.

Gov. Ron DeSantis said more masks should be coming to Florida hospitals in the next couple of days.