150M N95 masks to be shipped to CA after company gets federal license

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Within the next few days, 150 million N95 masks will arrive in California for the state’s front-line workers.

The masks are being shipped after BYD North America, a California-based company that manufactures vehicle batteries, consumer electronics and the monorail system, received certification from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to produce N95 respirators. BYD previously distributed 110 million surgical masks in California, according to a press release from California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office.

“Providing California’s front-line health care workers and responders the protective equipment they need is a critical part of our response to COVID-19,” Newsom said in the press release. “This new supply of N95 masks, as well as the surgical masks this contract has already provided, are game-changing and play a crucial role in our state’s public safety and reopening strategy.”

Of the 110 million masks BYD has provided so far, about 8.7 million have gone toward public health and local government, about 6.2 million have gone toward agriculture and about 3.5 million have gone toward nonemergency medical sectors, according to the press release. The remaining masks were distributed among nine other sectors.

Check back for updates.

Kate Finman is the executive news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @KateFinman_DC.