By JOSH FRIEDMAN
San Luis Obispo County is sending excess medical supplies to Ukraine to assist humanitarian efforts in the war-torn country. [KCOY]
The county is sending 100,000 or more medical gloves, 1,000 or more meals ready to eat, 300 medical scrubs and other miscellaneous medical items. The medical supplies had been purchased to prepare for a surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations that did not occur.
Early in the pandemic, the SLO County Public Health Department purchased more than 100,000 medical items for the alternate care COVID-19 treatment facility that was set up at Cal Poly. The facility did not end up being needed as local hospitals managed to cope with the number of COVID-19 patients who were admitted.
Vince Pierucci, the SLO County Emergency Medical Services Director, said the medical supplies being sent to Ukraine have expiration dates. They need to be used or they will end up in a landfill, Pierucci said.
“The last thing we want is to pollute our environment and not use these items that were purchased to help people,” Pierucci said. “So we felt this was a great opportunity to help out Ukrainians.”
Local moving company Meathead Movers is assisting the county with sending medical supplies to Ukraine. Meathead Movers is packing the supplies and delivering them to the Port of Los Angeles, from which they are shipped to Ukraine.