Quebec Is Running Low On Some Equipment & Health Care Workers Now Have To Reuse Masks
"I want to tell you the truth, for some equipment, we're looking at three to seven days."
- At his daily press conference Tuesday, Legault said that his focus is securing necessary supplies of gloves, scrubs, and masks in Quebec.
- Supply shipments are on the way, but right now, some materials could run out in three to seven days, he said.
- Health Minister Danielle McCann explained that health care workers are now being asked to reuse their masks.
As the number of coronavirus infections rises in the province, necessary supplies are dwindling. In his press conference Tuesday, Premier Legault said that his "top priority, right now, it's really all medical protective equipment." He particularly emphasized the need for procedural gloves, scrubs, and masks in Quebec.
"I want to tell you the truth, for some equipment, we're looking at three to seven days. So it's still tight."
But, he reassured, "we have orders that should arrive in the next few days and we're confident we'll be able to get through. So I don't want to worry anyone."
In the meantime, however, health care workers have been asked to sanitize and reuse their masks when possible.
"At this point, we're conserving our merchandise, our stocks, and this is very important for N95 [masks] because we know that N95 is only used in certain major circumstances, when we perform procedures on people with COVID-19 or others who are infected, such as intubations, surgeries or other procedures that are very close and invasive," said Health and Social Services Minister Danielle McCann.
"We really need these masks, so we have started disinfecting them."
She also underlined the importance of reserving masks for professionals dealing with infected individuals.
"In other circumstances, when people are not infected, in the course of everyday life, people do not need masks."
The Premier underscored this point, as well, stating that "it's very important, if we want to be able to have masks for the duration of the crisis, it's very important that we use the masks only when it's essential."
He suggested that the shipments of new equipment would come from a range of sources, including the federal government, local companies, and other provinces.
In particular, Legault thanked "his friend" Ontario Premier Doug Ford for agreeing "to transfer some equipment to us."
Prime Minister Trudeau and Deputy Prime Minister Freeland are also working to secure equipment from international partners, he said.
The announcements from Legault and McCann come after the single largest 24-hour jump in the number of coronavirus infections in the province.