US to advise health care workers to reuse PPE

U.S. & World

A physician assistant takes off her face shield after collecting a nasal swab sample from a patient for COVID-19 testing at Xpress Urgent Care in Tustin, Calif. The personal protective gear that was in dangerously short supply during the initial weeks of the coronavirus crisis in the U.S. is running out again as the virus resumes its rapid spread and the number of hospitalized patients climbs. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence says the U.S. government will issue guidance encouraging front-line health care workers to reuse personal protective equipment.

Pence, speaking at White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing on Wednesday, added that PPE supplies remain “very strong” but the Trump administration will be encouraging healthcare workers “to use some of the best practices” to “preserve and reuse” face masks and other protective equipment.

Pence pointed to flattening rates of positive coronavirus tests in the hard-hit Sun Belt states of Arizona, Florida and Texas and called for Americans to “keep doing what you’re doing.”

But the head of the White House task force said that Americans in states that have seen a recent spike in cases need to do more to clamp down on gatherings in order to stem spread of the virus.

Dr. Deborah Birx said that in addition to closures of bars, ceasing indoor dining and wearing face coverings Americans in hot spots should stop holding or cut down on the size of gatherings they hold in their homes.

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