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Thousands of boxes of PPE worth more than $10 million were forgotten for months and left in the rain outside a California event center: report

Discarded surgical masks in trash can.
$10 million worth of PPE was left outside in the rain in California, ABC7 reported.

  • PPE and masks worth $10 million were left outside in the rain in San Mateo county, ABC7 reported.
  • A source told ABC7 that garbage trucks took the boxes of PPE to the dump.
  • One box filled with 100 non-sterilized protective gowns was worth $18,000, per ABC7.

Thousands of boxes containing brand new masks and personal protective equipment (PPE) worth more than $10 million were forgotten about for months and left in the rain outside an event center in California, ABC7 I-Team reported.

Top county officials didn’t realise that the boxes were sitting outside San Mateo County Event Center, according to ABC7, which went to the center after getting a tip about the situation.

ABC7 said it found thousands of boxes stacked on top of each other, some of which were broken and had their contents spilling out. 

Brand new PPE, including hospital gowns, face shields, and goggles, was left to rot in the rain, the outlet reported.

It added that one box, which contained 100 non-sterilized protective gowns costing $7.50 each, was worth $18,000. Another box filled with goggles was valued at $478, while a total of 900 mop bucket wringers was apparently worth $63,000.

San Mateo County Event Center didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

ABC7 recounted the conversation between its reporter and Dana Stoehr, CEO of the nonprofit that runs San Mateo Event Center.

Stoehr told the ABC7 reporter that the boxes were taken care of correctly and didn’t provide any more details.

The boxes of PPE were moved outside of the event center in September to create more space, but then a storm hit the area in October and damaged them, ABC7 reported.

Mike Callagy, San Mateo county manager, told ABC7 that it was a mistake by the county and he took full responsibility for the situation. The PPE was worth more than a million dollars, Callagy added.

When asked by ABC7 if it was “multiple millions,” Callagy said: “I don’t know,” adding “it’s a lot of PPE out there.”

Garbage trucks took the boxes of PPE to the dump, a source told the outlet.

Read the original article on Business Insider