SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — San Francisco has hired 82 qualified nurses and will receive one million N-95 personal protective masks from the state of California in an effort to strengthen the city’s medical response against the coronavirus pandemic, Mayor London Breed said Monday.
Breed announced the initiatives on Twitter Monday afternoon, thanking California governor Gavin Newsom for his “continued leadership” during the crisis.
Just announced: California is providing one million N-95 personal protective masks this week to support our front line workers who are responding to coronavirus. Thank you Governor @GavinNewsom for your continued leadership during this crisis!
More info: https://t.co/uu5OBjJ7tY
— London Breed (@LondonBreed) March 23, 2020
The masks should arrive to city healthcare facilities within the week, Breed said.
The nurses were hired over the weekend at two invitation-only hiring fairs, which were announced by Breed last week and hosted by the city’s Department of Public Health. Breed’s office says the city plans to hire another 140 nurses in the coming weeks, totaling 220 new nurses to help the city’s medical infrastructure during the public health crisis.
DPH Human Resources contacted candidates who had already applied and conducted background checks, including fingerprints and medical screenings, Breed’s office said. Newly hired nurses will be able to start work this coming week, pending clearances.
“The aggressive steps that we’ve taken to slow the spread of coronavirus in our community is only one part of what we know is needed to respond to this pandemic,” said Breed in a statement Monday. “We’re also preparing to increase the capacity of our health care system by hiring more nurses, while ensuring that we have the equipment needed to keep them safe as they do their important work.
Breed said these preparatory moves are everything the city can do to meet the “increased demand we know is coming soon.”
As of Monday morning, there were 131 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in San Francisco, according to the SFDPH’s website.