Tales from the crypt: Washington cathedral digs up 5,000 respirator masks

Agence France-Presse
Tales from the crypt: Washington cathedral digs up 5,000 respirator masks

AFP

5,000 masks purchased more than a decade ago have been forgotten in a crypt level deep below 9 separate chapels

WASHINGTON, USA – With respirator face masks in short supply, the Washington National Cathedral dug deep underground to find its long forgotten stash – in its crypt.

The massive Neo-Gothic cathedral in the US capital said Wednesday, March 25, that 5,000 masks purchased more than a decade ago had been forgotten in its crypt level deep below its 9 separate chapels. (READ: WHO warns of mask shortages as virus cases rise worldwide)

As US health officials sounded the alarm over the shortage of masks during the coronavirus pandemic, some staff noticed the stockpile set aside for priests.

“The masks were purchased more than a decade ago following a previous health scare,” the cathedral said in a statement.

“They were meant to allow clergy to provide pastoral care without putting their own health at risk.”

It said that after checking to be certain they were still safe to use, 13 boxes containing 3,000 masks were being donated to Georgetown University Hospital, and 9 more boxes with 2,000 masks were going to Children’s National Hospital, both in Washington.

A few masks will be held on to for the cathedral clergy, just in case, it added. – Rappler.com

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