How Politics Left Opioid Treatment Clinics Without PPE for Months

Face mask protection KN95 or N95 and surgical masks for protection. Image by Igisheva Maria / Shutterstock. 2020.

It was Monday, March 23, 2020, and Joelyn Alfred was about to submit her request for personal protective equipment (PPE) to the Georgia’s Division of Public Health. As director of a small methadone clinic, she had been bracing for the coronavirus pandemic to hit her facility north of Atlanta for weeks. She knew Lakeland Centres, which has served its community for more than 30 years, couldn’t take that risk. It needed to remain safe, but present.

Her usual provider of medical supplies, Georgia-based MedStat, had itself not been able to get face masks for weeks. One of Alfred’s seven employees had been able to procure six surgical masks for her team, and they got another eight hand-sewn masks from a local group.