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'Mad scramble': Unlikely places stocked Idaho virus supplies

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Posted at 8:32 AM, Dec 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-21 10:33:06-05

BOISE, Idaho — An Associated Press analysis shows Idaho officials scrambled to find personal protective equipment last spring when the coronavirus pandemic hit the state.

State purchasers spent some $5 million in the first hectic months while competing with buyers from other states and health care providers for masks, gloves, gowns and more. Idaho Office of Emergency Management Director Brad Richy says the Strategic National Stockpile couldn't meet Idaho's needs. Some facilities came within days of running out of supplies.

Records show the state spent more than $600,000 on Amazon orders. It also bought 50,000 hard-to-get N95 masks from a Los Angeles store that normally sells women's clothing.