▶️ Respirator masks flying off local shelves; CDC says they won’t help

By HANNAH SIEVERT
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY

On Thursday, this Ace Hardware on Highway 97 in Bend sold out of N-95 respirator masks.

“We’ve sold over 150 in the last couple days,” said Brant Medonich, system manager for Ace.

Medonich says three other Ace Hardwares in Bend sold out too.

“Everybody’s in the same boat right now.,” he said. 

Their distribution center is out of masks, so Bend stores won’t get more for several days.

Medonich noticed the demand climbing last week, as the coronavirus continued to spread around the world.

“It’s fairly obvious that’s what’s got them spooked,” he said. 

But are masks effective protection?

“Should you wear a mask if you’re healthy?”

“No.”

The Centers for Disease Control says no, they’re not useful in protecting healthy people against COVID-19.

The CDC website says the organization “does not recommend that people who are well wear a face mask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases including COVID-19.”

Instead, the CDC says masks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVD 19 to prevent spread, and should be worn by health care workers.

Robert Redfield, Director of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

“The comment I would make because I do see people going and buying masks. I would ask – and some people skoff when I say this – is that we need make sure those n95 masks are available for the doctors and nurses who are taking care of individuals who have this illness,” said CDC Director Robert Redfield. 

Even so, masks are still selling out – but Ace Hardware is ready for it.

“We’re gonna bring in as many as we’re allowed to bring in and I’m sure other stores will do the same,” Medonich said. 

 

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