Why Some Hospitals Are Keeping Surgical Masks Under Lock and Key

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It's the new normal — surgical masks are everywhere. 

And even though health experts say they aren't effective protection against contracting coronavirus, that hasn't stopped people from buying stores out of stock and even stealing masks from hospitals.

One hospital in Glendale, California, is taking special precautions after noticing their supply was dwindling.

"Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, masks were located everywhere," said Dr. Armand Dorian. "Every little corner and hallway, we had masks put up for our patients who come in who are coughing to be able to put it on themselves. But currently in this state we've had to gather them and put them in locked facilities so that we have them available for our health care workers." 

Not only have people been stealing masks, they have become so ubiquitous that thieves have been seen wearing them as disguises in a string of recent robberies.

At Aqueduct Racetrack in New York, two men wearing surgical masks to cover their faces robbed staff at gunpoint and got away with $270,000. In Chicago, cops say a gang wore surgical masks during a robbery at a Gucci store. In Atlanta, police release a photo of a masked suspect wanted in at least six bank robberies. 

It's not only masks that are in short supply — Megan McCain recently posted an image from backstage at "The View" of a small bottle of hand sanitizer with a message warning people not to take it.

Amazon says it has taken down an estimated one million items from its site that they considered price gouging in the age of coronavirus, including sky-high priced hand sanitizer. 


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