After an oversight that resulted in about $7 million worth of medical supplies being damaged in a rainstorm last fall, San Mateo County will distribute the extra, still-usable supplies to nonprofits and government agencies.
During a meeting of the county’s Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, supervisors authorized County Manager Mike Callagy to give the extra supplies — which include non-medical-grade gowns, goggles and cleaning materials — to organizations that need them.
The supplies were initially purchased early in the COVID-19 pandemic when there were supply shortages. But they remained unused and some were damaged after being left outside the San Mateo Event Center during a storm. Most of the supplies were wrapped in plastic inside the boxes and were not damaged, according to the county.
The county still has a separate supply of undamaged medical-grade personal protective equipment for front-line workers. These include masks and gloves which were stored indoors and not impacted by the storm.
County supervisors and staff apologized for the mistake and expressed gratitude that the supplies would be put to use.
“While we deeply regret the damage that occurred during last fall’s rainy season, we are grateful the vast majority of the supplies are still usable and can support purposes including wildfire clean up, disaster relief and other emergency response efforts,” Callagy said in a statement.
He also encouraged local organizations that need supplies to reach out.
Bay Area nonprofit Wine Country Marines is working with the county to distribute the supplies.
Board President and Supervisor for District Three Don Horsley said that the Board is working to understand what happened to prevent future mistakes.
Organizations in need of supplies can address inquiries to “Supply Manager” at email@example.com.