SANTA FE – As nationwide demand for health protection equipment surges, New Mexico’s health care system has a limited statewide stock of about 44,000 snug-fitting N95 face masks that protect medical workers from the coronavirus by filtering out small airborne particles, state officials said.
New Mexico also has about 2.4 million exam gloves, 70,500 medical gowns and 234,000 surgical masks that offer less protection from virus infection than N95 masks, state officials said in response to an inquiry from The Associated Press about the state’s stockpile of health protection equipment supplies.
The information provided to the AP by the state Health Department was drawn from a survey conducted by officials who received reports from 28 of New Mexico’s 33 counties, said department spokesman David Morgan.
The first N95 medical masks to reach the U.S. since February arrived by plane and ship this week, with trucks on hand to take them to coronavirus hot spots around the country.
New Mexico health officials said the state has received 75% of its allotment of protective equipment from the Strategic National Stockpile as the state and independent health care providers work to find additional sources for supplies.