Compared to the overall amount of money spent by the WA State DOH on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) this amount may seem small. But it is still wasteful.

  DOH throws away thousand of expired PPE items

According to sources, a number of medical facilities around the state, including hospitals (some in Spokane), began to carefully utilize as much COVID-era PPE as they could to avoid waste.

Using the leftover PPE also helped cut into their budget expenses. However, the WA State Department of Health has recently thrown out $1.5 million worth of gowns, masks and other PPE that were never used during COVID.

KHQ-TV in Spokane reports the DOH says $1.5 million is still small compared to the $475 million they spent overall on PPE during COVID.  But, it is still a lot of unused items that were wasted.

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Some was donated to relief efforts overseas, including in 2022 when some were sent to the Marshall Islands in the Pacific after they were ravaged by a typhoon. But a lot was still left over.

Depending on what type of equipment it is, most PPE has a shelf-life of anywhere from 6 to 12 months, sometimes a little longer.

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Gallery Credit: Liz Barrett Foster