This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

The nurse keeps her mask in a Tupperware container. In an unwelcome daily ritual, she dips her face in the plastic tub to put on and take off her N95 respirator, careful not to touch the front in case it is contaminated with the coronavirus.

“If you had told me I would be reusing N95 masks before the coronavirus, I would’ve laughed and not believed you,” said Jill Tobin, an emergency room nurse in the Bay Area. “The methods we’re using are not scientific.”

Despite assurances from government leaders about adequate personal protective equipment supplies as well as COVID-19 numbers flattening, tensions between front-line health workers and hospital leaders are higher than ever. Nurses and doctors say hospitals are conserving gear by forcing staff to re-wear masks to stretch the existing supply — and endanger their own health.

Statewide, more than 2,500 healthcare workers have fallen ill with COVID-19, a statistic that has raised the level of alarm among providers.

Read the full story on