Face mask shortages affecting Midwest construction workers

Picture of a man working on dry wall

Josh McChesney is a dry wall finisher who uses a mask often to keep chemicals from damaging his lungs. He says masks are hard to come by.

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MOLINE, Ill. — Face masks are a hot item right now, along with toilet paper and cleaning supplies at stores. But what about people who need face masks for work?

Josh McChesney is a dry wall finisher who uses a mask often to keep chemicals from damaging his lungs, WQAD reported. He said masks are hard to come by.

“Just last week, I went to go purchase them, and I couldn’t find them anywhere,” McChesney said. “I went to three Sherwin-Williams and a Menards.”

The supply is short at Target, Walmart and other stores because suppliers are allocating. At Trevor True Value in Moline, if they order 100 masks, they might only get 20 because the demand is high at locations everywhere.

“It doesn’t matter how many we get in,” Butch Trevor, the owner at Trevor True Value, said. “It usually takes an hour to sell out. As soon as people know there’s a stock, people are buying everything.”

“If you buy one box of 100, and you put the one box out, the guy is going to buy the box of 100.”

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker addressed the mask shortage during his address Friday afternoon.

“Please leave the masks for those who need them,” Gov. Pritzker said. “It will protect you more and everyone else in the long run.”

The World Health Organization has stated masks are meant for anyone who is sick. If you are healthy, only wear one if you are taking care of someone infected.

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