Accidental order lets Mont. dental practice help with mask shortage

2020 03 25 20 11 6688 Doctors Masks Team 400

An accidental order for some 700,000 face masks has turned quite the bit of luck for healthcare facilities dealing with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), according to a March 24 report in the Missoulian.

It all began six years ago, when Rubicon Dental Associates in Billings, MT, ordered a shipment of dental supplies from a source in China. Practice co-founder Remington Townsend, DDS, later admitted he did not know the size of a "shipment" until the masks and the rest of the order arrived. Since then, the practice has kept the masks in storage.

The misjudged order now is proving beneficial as the masks are greatly needed by healthcare facilities dealing with COVID-19. The practice spread the word that it had masks available at cost for facilities who needed them. Among the 13 beneficiaries so far is a hospital in Wyoming that had only 100 masks left in its supply, while another hospital sent an employee to Billings to load several cartons of masks into a horse trailer, according to the report.

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