MADISON, Wis. — The state of Wisconsin has distributed more than 5.4 million pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) since the beginning of the year, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) and Gov. Tony Evers said Monday.
Officials say 5.4 million N95/KN95 respirator masks have been distributed to over 130 different locations across the state since the beginning of January. This includes more than 3.35 million masks just last week.
More than 533,000 masks have been distributed to school districts across Wisconsin, including nearly 400,000 last week alone, officials said.
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“Keeping Wisconsinites healthy and safe continues to be my top priority as the landscape of this pandemic continues to shift and evolve,” said Gov. Evers. “In addition to getting vaccine shots in arms and expanding our COVID-19 testing efforts, ensuring that folks have access to high-quality masks and respirators is key to helping keep people safe and preventing the spread of COVID-19 while ensuring our kids continue learning in the classroom, our small businesses and main streets recover, and our workers to stay on the job.”
According to officials, millions of masks have been distributed to schools, community organizations, first responders, and local and tribal health departments (LTHDs) across Wisconsin from the DHS Medical Stockpile. The DHS stockpile is a cache of state-owned medical surge supplies and PPE, including gloves, gowns, coveralls, face masks, face shields, and N95 respirators, according to a news release.
“Wearing a well-fitting mask in public places is a critical tool to slow the spread of COVID-19, and it is important to remember that any mask is better than no mask,” said DHS Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake. “To protect yourself and others from COVID-19, wear the most protective mask you can that fits well and that you will wear consistently.”