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Montana receives 68,000 N95 masks

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HELENA – Sixty-eight thousand N95 masks are making their way to frontline workers in Montana Friday.

According to an email from Senator Daines’s Office, Montana was initially getting 79,000 masks shipped to the state the week before. The email also said there were approximately 11,000 masks in the state on Thursday.

The following is a statement from Sen. Daines’s Office:

“Senator Daines has been actively working to ensure Montana has N95 masks and additional PPE across the state to handle the coronavirus outbreak. Daines brought concerns directly to HHS, FEMA and other top level officials and can confirm there will be a shipment of 68,000 N95 masks to Montana by the morning. The Senator secured $16 billion for PPE in the coronavirus economic relief package and will continue working to ensure Montana has the resources and PPE from that funding it needs to handle the outbreak.”

According to a release from Senator Jon Tester, the Trump Administration was promising Montana 79,000 masks in March; however, Montana only received roughly 10,900 of those masks. Nearby states sold masks to Montana to help the delay, according to the release.

According to the release, state health officials say Montana needs at least 460,000 masks.

The following is a statement from Sen. Tester addressing the number of masks coming to the state:

“I hope this means welcome progress for Montana’s frontline health care workers—but until every last mask the federal government promised our state is in the hands of the folks that need it, this is no time for a victory lap,” Tester said. “The truth is, we continue to have a staggering shortfall in personal protective equipment—equipment the federal government has a responsibility to provide through its vast resources, including the Strategic National Stockpile, and I’ll be keeping my foot on the gas to get these critically-needed supplies to Montana.”

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