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Dr. Frank Candela, chief of staff at West Hills Hospital in the San Fernando Valley, started a GoFundMe last week to raise money for more safety gear at his medical center, where masks and face shields are running short as coronavirus cases mount.

As of Wednesday night, he’d raised more than $48,000. But he can’t find much to buy.

“We’ve been walking around waving money and there isn’t anybody who has supply right now,” Candela said, calling it “such a difficult situation.”

Like Candela, medical providers and hospital administrations across the state and country are desperate for personal protective equipment and other essential goods as COVID-19 patients hit emergency rooms and intensive care units in growing numbers. Nurses and doctors are pleading for donations online, telling stories of reusing masks and rigging trash bags as gowns.

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