April 15, 2022
By JOSH FRIEDMAN
San Luis Obispo County is sending surplus medical supplies to Ukraine to support humanitarian efforts in the war-torn country. [KCOY]
The county is sending at least 100,000 medical gloves, 1,000 or more ready-to-eat meals, 300 medical scrubs and other miscellaneous medical items. The medical supplies had been purchased to prepare for a surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations which did not occur.
At the start of 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 was ultimately unnecessary as local hospitals managed to cope with the number of COVID-19 patients who were admitted.
Vince Pierucci, director of SLO County Emergency Medical Services, said medical supplies sent to Ukraine had expiration dates. They must 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 thought it was a great opportunity to help Ukrainians.”
Local moving company Meathead Movers is helping the county send medical supplies to Ukraine. Meathead Movers packs the supplies and delivers them to the Port of Los Angeles, from where they are shipped to Ukraine.