By Cameron Glenn

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Governor Gavin Newsom says California is taking action to help strengthen its response to COVID-19 by purchasing more masks.

The governor announced Wednesday that the state is adding to its long-term stockpile life of life-saving personal protective equipment (PPE). He says he has directed the Department of Public Health and Office of Emergency Services to increase the state’s stockpile to 100 million N-95 respirators and 200 million surgical masks by early fall in order to account for the potential need given the recent rise in COVID-19 cases. In total, 420 million new protective masks will be purchased.

(credit: Karen Ducey/Getty Images)

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To date, the state has distributed 86.4 million N-95 respirators and 297 million surgical masks to Californians working on the front lines against COVID-19, according to a statement Wednesday from the governor’s office.

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The news comes at a critical time for the country’s nurses after a recent survey from National Nurses United shows 87% of participating nurses reported having to reuse masks while 72% reported having exposed skin or clothing.

As a result of the shortage, hospitals were being forced to extend the use of N95 masks with nationally set decontamination procedures.

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