KN95 mask in short supply, but more expected soon

Masks are available at Pullman location of Whitman County Public Health

Surgical+masks+are+currently+available+at+the+Chinook+Student+Center+for+students+who+want+them.+

COLE QUINN

Surgical masks are currently available at the Chinook Student Center for students who want them.

JOSIAH PIKE, Evergreen reporter

With KN95 masks recommended but in short supply across town, Whitman County Public Health recommends people most at risk should get theirs first. 

Although their stock is not large, the public health department has KN95 masks available, said director Chris Skidmore.

“We have a small supply of KN95 masks available to the public,” Skidmore said. “We’re hoping for more to come soon.”

Another shipment of masks is coming to refill their stock, but Skidmore said he does not know when they will arrive.

“We keep getting told they’re on the way,” Skidmore said. “We’ve been told, because of the flooding and road conditions, the supply has been delayed.”

Skidmore said the KN95 masks are currently only available at the health department’s Pullman location, but hopefully, they can disperse the next batch across various areas in the county.

“We’ll have them in the Pullman and Colfax locations,” Skidmore said. “We’d also like to transfer some across libraries as well.”

The current masks only come in packs of 10, but the next shipment may include individual masks as well, Skidmore said.

He said he recommends all those who can get KN95 masks as soon as there are enough for everyone in the general public to have one.

“Anytime you have a respiratory disease the way this one is, higher levels of masking is gonna be helpful,” Skidmore said.

Matthew Atwell, Chinook Student Center assistant director, said they do not have KN95 masks available for the general public, but they would like to offer them soon in the future.

“We have zero at the moment for students,” Atwell said. “We do have them for [Chinook] staff who would like them, though.”

The Chinook offers surgical masks at the front desk. If KN95 masks were ever offered at the Chinook, they would most likely distribute them at the front desk as well, Atwell said.

Atwell said KN95 masks are effective, and he supports people wearing them.