Some staff claim New York hospital is reusing masks, cite picture of old PPE in storage room

After discovering a room full of N95 masks hanging on clotheslines, some employees claim Poughkeepsie, N.Y.-based Vassar Brothers Medical Center is recycling masks for staff, Mid-Hudson News reports. 

A nurse told Mid-Hudson News that she found old masks in a storage room Aug. 16. Two other co-workers then viewed the masks and the nurse took a picture of the room, which was provided to Mid-Hudson News Aug. 17. The three employees declined to provide their names out of fear of retaliation. 

"We have never used recycled masks at Vassar Brothers Medical Center," hospital spokesperson John Nelson told Mid-Hudson News after the publication forwarded the picture to hospital administration. Mr. Nelson said all masks used by staff at VBMC are new.  

"I'm told if the photo was taken here, it would have been at a time early in the pandemic, when there was a national shortage of masks and other personal protective equipment," Mr. Nelson said. "We were preparing for a possible worst-case scenario, which would have included properly sterilizing and reusing masks."

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