LA Times Reports PPE Shortages Cost Lives

At least 15,800 essential workers would not have contracted COVID-19 if California had stockpiled enough masks and other protective equipment, while the state would have saved $93 million weekly on unemployment claims for out of work healthcare workers and avoided overpaying for supplies, according to a UC Berkeley Labor Center study released Wednesday.

The study urges California officials to stockpile masks, gowns, gloves and other equipment in the coming years to avoid shortages seen during the COVID-19 pandemic. Lawmakers currently pushing a bill that would create a state stockpile said the UC Berkeley report demonstrates that California needs a plan to ensure personal protective equipment shortages aren’t as sharply felt during a future healthcare crisis.

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