Home Depot has halted its sales of N95 masks and plans to donate them to hospitals, healthcare providers, and first responders across the country facing shortages of personal protective equipment, or PPE. The announcement comes as the national stockpile of PPE is nearly depleted due to the spread of the coronavirus in the U.S.
Home Depot made the announcement in a press release on Tuesday. The statement also outlines updates in the retailer's safety measures, benefits for associates, and community support. As part of its "supporting community" updates, Home Depot stated that it executed a "Stop-Sale" on all N95 masks in stores and on its website, and that it redirected shipments to medical workers. It also announced the donation of millions of dollars in PPE to hospitals, health care providers, and first responders. A few weeks ago, the Home Depot froze pricing of products that were in high demand due to coronavirus.
Some of the safety measures that the retailer is taking for its associates and customers include closing stores at 6 p.m. for more time to sanitize and restock, limiting the amount of customers in stores, cancelling spring promotions to try and reduce traffic to stores, and marking floors and adding signage to promote social distancing. Home Depot is also giving thermometers to associates in stores and distributions, asking them to perform health checks before coming to work.
"As our communities battle COVID-19, The Home Depot is committed to providing the essential needs required to maintain homes and businesses while doing our best to protect our valued customers and associates," Home Depot CEO said in a statement. "This has resulted in several temporary changes to our business as we look out for your safety and the safety of our associates."
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