Desperate to Keep Protective Gear in Stock, North Texas Nurses Told to Re-Use Face Masks

Parkland noted in a memo obtained by NBC 5 Investigates that such procedures, while not ideal, are allowed in CDC guidelines

NBCUniversal, Inc.

One of North Texas’ largest hospitals is in danger of running out of protective masks within weeks, as the coronavirus continues to surge.

A spokeswoman for Parkland Hospital said it could be out of masks in as little as three weeks, a drastic drop from normal times when the supply could last for three months.

In addition, NBC 5 Investigates obtained an internal message to Parkland nurses, telling them what they “need to do” to “extend the life” of the much-needed N-95 masks.

Nurses were also told that, after taking off the mask, they could place it in a paper bag outside a patient’s room, and then re-use the mask on the same patient until the end of the shift – or until it’s “visibly soiled.”

Parkland noted in the message that such procedures, while not ideal, are allowed in CDC guidelines.

In a separate email, NBC 5 Investigates learned Parkland administrators warned that their supply of masks is limited and that the ability to get more is not guaranteed.

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