“I can tell you my other colleagues across our multiple hospitals are really rationing,” Dr. Susan Ray, an infectious disease specialist at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, told the newspaper in an article published yesterday.
Having a supply of the masks matters because the masks, when used properly, provide 95% filtration efficiency against certain non-oil based particles. Health practitioners need the masks to stay safe while treating people who are potentially infected with the virus, but supplies are running low — not only from the prolonged fight against the virus in China but also because of panic buying among regular people, the newspaper reported.
3M said in a statement shared with MassDevice: “Global demand for supplies used to treat and help protect people, such as respirators, is currently exceeding supply. 3M has ramped up production at its manufacturing facilities around the world including in the U.S., Asia and Europe. Around the world, 3M is working with customers, distributors, government and medical officials to help get supplies where they are most needed. 3M is also closely monitoring and responding to any potential impact to our broader supply chain.”
3M in a news release on March 2 noted that its plant in Aberdeen, S.D., is running around the clock producing the masks. The Maplewood, Minn.–based manufacturing conglomerate has been hiring workers, adding shifts and activating more production lines at plants around the world.
“We’re seeing outbreaks develop in new countries every day. But even for the countries where there isn’t a widespread outbreak, we are working really hard to prepare right now in case they do,” said Nikki McCullough, 3M global occupational safety and health leader.