Alabama county received 5,000 rotted masks from national stockpile

Officials in Montgomery County, Ala., say that thousands of medical masks the county received from the national stockpile last week were rotten and expired.

Local emergency management director Christi Thornton said the package of 5,880 procedure masks was ruined because they had dry rot, The Associated Press reported.

The face covers reportedly had a 2010 expiration date.

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Thornton said a replacement shipment was received Wednesday.

Throughout other states in the nation, officials have reported damage to equipment arriving to aid medical workers in hospitals.

In Los Angeles, 170 broken ventilators were received from the national stockpile, according to California Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomBusinesses plead for states to enforce mask mandates A nationwide response from an unusual place: City halls California, Florida, Texas report new single day high coronavirus death tolls MORE (D).

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"Rather than complaining, we put them on a truck, drove them up overnight, and had @Bloom_Energy get to work fixing them," Newsom tweeted last week.

Due to the shortage of medical equipment in hospitals around the country responding to patients infected with the coronavirus, state governments have resorted to bidding and out-bidding other states for supplies.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) said that competition is "creating a lot more problems for all of us."

“We the states are trying to actively get every piece of PPE that we can. We're bidding against one another, and in some cases, the federal government is taking priority,” she said, referring to personal protective equipment. 

Whitmer encouraged people to maintain social distancing protocols as the pandemic continues to sweep the nation.

Retail sites such as Amazon have put a block on regular consumers purchasing medical masks in an attempt to save them for medical workers.

Instead of the typical "buy now" button, Amazon provides a statement, saying: "Prioritized for hospitals and government agencies directly responding to COVID-19 in the U.S."

The Trump administration is expected to announce guidance encouraging certain Americans to wear masks or face coverings when in public as part of an effort to limit spread of the virus.

However, officials have urged the public to leave medical masks and N95 respirators for health professionals on the front lines of the pandemic.

As of April 2, 38 state governments have urged citizens to stay at home, with local governments citing "social distancing" as the best remedy right now to fight the spread of the coronavirus, according to The New York Times.