Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Tuesday a deal with mask manufacturer Honeywell to procure 24 million N95 masks — at 79 cents each — to distribute and sell to first responders and hospitals in need.
The city will get 100,000 masks in May, 500,000 more in July and 1.2 million per month by November, Garcetti said.
“These will be lifesavers, quite literally,” Garcetti said.
The announcement comes as hospitals grapple with a nationwide shortage of protective gear, and a rise in price-gouging and counterfeit masks.
Officials said L.A. County alone burns through 5 million masks a month.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva announced an initiative Monday to decontaminate N95 masks that will allow first responders and healthcare workers countywide to safely reuse them up to 20 times as they battle the coronavirus.
Garcetti also said the goal in coming weeks is to open up testing to all asymptomatic residents.