The national push to get more protective equipment to first responders got a big boost in the South Bay.
San Jose police officers on Wednesday delivered thousands of masks to every hospital in the city. The masks were part of a surplus the department has been holding onto.
A nurse at one of the hospitals receiving the shipments said the masks are desperately needed.
Each hospital will get more than 9,000 masks, which equates to more than a week's supply for each location, according to the department.
"This is just an amazing donation," said Kamie Vankeuren, Valley Medical Center. "A generous gift tothe healthcare workers. It's needed, so thank you."
SJPD Chief Eddie Garcia credits Anna Hawks, the department's police property supervisor.
Hawks realized the masks were left over from the H1N1 pandemic years ago. Police said the CDC deemed them usable, so deliveries to local hospitals began immediately.
"When we see that we have a surplus, then we certainly need to pass it along with other partners who are fighting on the front lines as well," Garcia said.
The donation is the latest in a major effort to ensure hospitals are ready for the expected surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations.
For more on the CDC's guidelines on masks, click here.