Oregon's need for N95 masks, gowns, face shields and gloves has become so dire that nurses at many hospitals say they have less than a week left of gear to protect them and other medical staff against the new coronavirus.
The statewide shortage comes at the same time President Trump confirmed that the national stockpile of personal protective gear has nearly been depleted and the trickle to states will soon run dry.
Oregon has been scrambling on its own to secure protective gear but reports this week from the state's frontline health care workers help quantify the urgency in the face of a chaotic supply chain.
Representatives for the Oregon Nurses Association — a union with about 15,000 members statewide — said they've heard of no hospital that has more than a seven-day supply of personal protection equipment.
That has led to stringent rationing of PPE, an acronym for the gear now common in the pandemic lexicon. According to the association, some nurses in Portland have been wearing swim goggles to work.
This Oregonian/OregonLive story is shared as part of a local media project to increase COVID-19 news coverage.
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