California virus
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Pacific Gas & Electric is donating nearly one million medical masks to California governor Gavin Newsom’s emergency office in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Centred in a state which officially has gone into a “shelter in place” order by Newsom, PG&E is donating 480,000 N95 masks and 470,000 surgical masks to the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services for distribution to California hospitals and other first responders. Hospitals are facing a critical shortage of personal protective equipment during this crisis.

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PG&E and The PG&E Corporation Foundation also announced they will contribute $1million to nonprofit organisations focused on supporting individuals and families facing food insecurity, as well as small businesses to help with the uncertainty and economic impacts of the public health emergency. These donations come from shareholder funds, not customers, according to the release.

PG&E has delivered 20,000 N95 masks and 20,000 surgical masks directly to the Kaiser Permanente Livermore receiving centre. Kaiser has an immediate and critical need for the protective masks for its medical professionals.

“As a company and as individuals, we recognize the need to support the medical community and all they’re doing to help safeguard the health and safety of our fellow Californians,” PG&E CEO Andy Vesey said. “This crisis is unprecedented, but we know that our path forward requires us working together and helping medical professionals and first responders on the front lines of the pandemic. Helping our state and local communities is part of who we are at PG&E. It’s the right thing to do.”

The state has reported nearly 400 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, with 27 deaths. The virus was unknown at the beginning of the year.

San Diego-based Sempra Energy’s Southern California Gas last week donated $1 million in donations to nonprofit organisations. Southern California Edison, another of the state’s major utilities, also announced the suspension of service disconnections during the crisis.

Elsewhere in the country, scores of utilities are stepping up to help customers and those afflicted. Chicago-based utility holding company Exelon Corp. has contributed $1.15 million toward coronavirus response and relief.

This story first appeared on our sister-site, Power Engineering.

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