The first 100,000 of 24,000 N95 medical-grade masks ordered by the city of Los Angeles arrived Thursday and will be disseminated to health care providers and first responders.
“The city has incredible purchasing power, so we put that to use by buying in bulk at a low price point,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said. “We were able to secure inventory … for our hospitals that might not have had the connections we had, and they were struggling, when all the people who usually sell to them suddenly were being pulled in a thousand directions.”
The next shipment in June will include 200,000 N95 masks and the shipment in July will contain 500,000, Garcetti said. A shipment by December could include as many as 1.2 million N95 masks.
Los Angeles was able to achieve the purchase through its Logistics Victory LA initiative, or LoVLA, which is working with Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka and the port’s supply chain partners.
The N95 masks were purchased at 79 cents plus tax each, the mayor said while joining Seroka at a city-owned warehouse in downtown.
Seroka said the first shipment of masks is a “significant milestone” in providing adequate personal protective equipment to medical personnel.
“We’re starting to build that Los Angeles stockpile that we’ve talked about before,” Seroka said. “Working closely with the Hospital Association of Southern California and so many of our great public and private hospitals here in the Southland, the city of Los Angeles, specifically, now will be put to the next test to see how well” the masks can be distributed.
Garcetti also praised the Tony Royster, general manager of the General Services Department, for assisting with the acquisition of the masks.
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