County officials Tuesday relayed good news and bad news about supplies recently requested from the state to help combat the spread of COVID-19.
On one hand, San Benito County received 13,000 face masks from state to help in the effort. It turns out, however, reports came back that those masks were defective – as the back portions of the protective supplies snapped off when attempted for use.
“We’re getting a lot of calls,” said Kris Mangano, office of emergency services manager. “They are not working.”
She did say 2,000 more were arriving this afternoon and will be disbursed based on need and priority.
On the plus side, the county was able to obtain 10 cases of disinfectant wipes by taking advantage of a deep connection – “somebody who knew somebody” at Clorox, Mangano said. Those went to Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital, and the county was “thrilled” to make that happen, she said.
Meanwhile, the county put in a request for 20 additional ventilators from the state to go with seven already at the hospital. Three have been delivered, and another four were supposed to arrive today on loan.
“They now have plenty of ventilators,” she said. “That was a big score for us.”
Also on the numbers side of things, the county reported it has spent $415,000 of the $1 million initially allocated toward the pandemic response. The county is hoping to get at least some of those dollars reimbursed by the federal government, such as those going toward a contracted public information officer and personal protective equipment.
Note: A previous version of this story incorrectly quoted HHS Director Tracey Belton in this story.