Florida Courts Find Stockpiles of Surgical Masks, Prompting Nationwide Search

April 3, 2020 by Dan McCue
Florida Courts Find Stockpiles of Surgical Masks, Prompting Nationwide Search

WASHINGTON – The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts has directed federal courts across the nation to conduct a search for surplus medical supplies after two Florida courts discovered such stockpiles and donated them to local hospitals.

Employees in the Northern District of Florida, a court district that stretches from Tallahassee to Pensacola, found 1,200 N95 respirator masks in their three courthouses after employees recalled they’d been purchased more than a decade ago for protection from possible anthrax attacks.

As soon as he learned of the find, Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Walker ordered the masks donated to five area hospitals.

In the wake of the find, employees in the Middle District of Florida, a court district encompassing Orlando and Tampa, conducted their own search and found over 300 masks and more than 2,000 pairs of gloves.

On Wednesday, James C. Duff, director of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, urged all federal courts, federal public defenders’ offices, and probation and pretrial services offices to look for safety supplies and donate supplies to hospitals, if they are not required for staff and officer safety needs.

The effort is “an example of one small way the federal Judiciary can help the greater cause of fighting this deadly virus,” Duff said.

Jessica Lyublanovits, clerk of court for the Northern District of Florida, said her court’s donations “support the communities we serve and the medical professionals who are so desperately in need of supplies.

“Nothing reinforced how important our donation was than having the lab director for one of the hospitals break down in tears as the masks were delivered,” she said.

N95 masks are especially critical to the medical profession, because they seal tightly against the face and filter out 95 percent of airborne particles, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The N95 masks have a recommended shelf life, but the CDC said that in emergency scenarios, older masks often remain appropriate for many medical uses.

“The masks have been in our mail rooms and supply closets across the district for many years as part of our emergency preparedness supplies,” Lyublanovits said. “As public servants, we all independently recognized that this was the right thing to do, even though our donation was small when compared to the overall number of masks needed by our health-care professionals.”

A+
a-
  • Courts
  • medical supplies
  • N95 masks
  • In The News

    Health

    Voting

    In The News

    June 17, 2024
    by Dan McCue
    UAW Members Approve Contract at Ohio EV Battery Plant

    LORDSTOWN, Ohio — UAW workers at an Ohio plant that supplies the battery cells for General Motors electric vehicles have... Read More

    LORDSTOWN, Ohio — UAW workers at an Ohio plant that supplies the battery cells for General Motors electric vehicles have overwhelmingly approved a new contract that ensures significant raises and better health and safety protections. The new contract for workers at Ultium Cells, a joint venture... Read More

    June 17, 2024
    by Dan McCue
    Railway Must Pay Tribe $400M for Trespassing Oil Trains

    SEATTLE — The BNSF Railway Co., the largest freight railroad in the United States, must pay a Native American tribe... Read More

    SEATTLE — The BNSF Railway Co., the largest freight railroad in the United States, must pay a Native American tribe in Washington state nearly $400 million for years of illegally transporting crude oil-laden tankers across their land. Monday’s ruling by U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik comes... Read More

    June 17, 2024
    by Tom Ramstack
    Congresswoman Wants AG Garland Arrested for Contempt

    WASHINGTON — A member of Congress said Sunday she wants to use a rarely invoked legal authority to compel the... Read More

    WASHINGTON — A member of Congress said Sunday she wants to use a rarely invoked legal authority to compel the arrest of U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland for contempt. The House voted last week to hold Garland in contempt of Congress for failing to turn over... Read More

    June 17, 2024
    by Anna Claire Miller
    Biden Campaign Redoubling Effort to Keep Abortion Rights Front of Mind for Voters

    WASHINGTON — With the second anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade fast approaching, the Biden-Harris... Read More

    WASHINGTON — With the second anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade fast approaching, the Biden-Harris campaign is organizing volunteers to share what they’ve experienced since that ruling went into effect. Decided on June 24, 2022, Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization... Read More

    June 17, 2024
    by Dan McCue
    Study Finds Data Center Electricity Use Could Double by 2030

    PALO ALTO, Calif. — Thanks in large part to artificial intelligence becoming an ever-more entrenched part of the digital economy,... Read More

    PALO ALTO, Calif. — Thanks in large part to artificial intelligence becoming an ever-more entrenched part of the digital economy, the demand for power from the data centers the technology relies on could double by 2030, a new report from the Electric Power Research Institute says.... Read More

    June 17, 2024
    by Dan McCue
    Des Moines Register Poll Reconfirms Iowa’s Shift From Swing to Red State

    WASHINGTON — Iowa, home to corn, state fair butter cows, and a world famous political caucus, is a swing state... Read More

    WASHINGTON — Iowa, home to corn, state fair butter cows, and a world famous political caucus, is a swing state no more. That much now seems obvious with the release of a new Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa poll Monday that showed former Republican President Donald Trump... Read More

    News From The Well
    scroll top