Press Release: Caregivers applaud scheduled delivery of N-95 masks and other PPE to Seton Medical Center

April 2nd, 2020

Shipment of nearly 16,000 N-95 masks should last at least one month at the Bay Area hospital designated to care for COVID-19 patients

The strong collaboration between caregivers at Seton Medical Center and local and state officials has helped avoid a dire shortfall of personal protective equipment at Seton Medical Center, the financially troubled Daly City hospital leased by the State of California last month to provide care to COVID-19 patients.

Responding to the concerns of caregivers that the hospital had inadequate supplies of N-95 masks to cope with an expected surge of COVID-19 patients, San Mateo County secured an emergency expenditure to purchase 15,680 N-95 masks as well as 1,200 goggles. The equipment is scheduled to arrive today, April 2.

While Seton still must be conservative with its supply given the overall shortage of N-95 masks, hospital officials have told workers the shipment is expected to provide Seton with approximately 35 days worth of N-95 masks should there be a moderate surge of COVID-19 patients at the hospital or a 26-day supply if the patient surge is higher.

“Workers at Seton are ready to meet the immense challenge of being on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Sal Rosselli, president of the National Union of Healthcare Workers, which represents more than 600 Seton employees. “More supplies are still necessary to implement the best safety protocols at Seton, but this shipment is a testament to what can be accomplished when caregivers and government officials work together for the public good.

Workers and community leaders rallied to save Seton last month, securing up to $20 million from San Mateo County. Gov. Newsom then stepped in, announcing that the state would temporarily lease the 357-bed hospital to ensure it has sufficient capacity to care for patients who have contracted COVID-19. Seton’s owner, Verity Health, filed for bankruptcy in 2018.

“We are fortunate to have tremendous leaders including Gov. Newsom, State Sen. Scott Wiener, Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, and San Mateo Supervisor David Canepa, who have been committed to keeping the hospital open and making sure that caregivers have adequate supplies of protective equipment to care for patients during the pandemic,” Rosselli said.