SPOKANE, Wash — Amid coronavirus concerns, staff at a Spokane dentist office are concerned they won’t have enough protective wear to continue business.
People have been buying in bulk masks used for healthcare procedures.
“We can’t operate at all if we don’t have masks,” said Dr. Michael Davis with Arbour Family Dentistry.
When staff placed their usual order of 50 boxes of masks, their supplier was only able to send three boxes.
“I talked to our supplier this morning,” Davis said. “I asked him what the situation was with them. He said, ‘It’s dire.’”
Arbour Family’s supply is down to 200 masks, and staff use about 50 in one day.
The CDC requires staff to wear them while performing any operations.
The business would either have to close or only accept emergency cases to extend its supply of masks.
“If we do run out of masks, what’s next?” Davis said.
Staff discussed using cloth masks or plastic protectors, pending the CDC’s approval.
“We’ve joked around, ‘Let’s go buy 60 bandannas, and at the end of the day we wash all of them,” Davis said. “It’s very concerning. We just close our eyes…and hope that one day there are more masks there.”