Local coronavirus concerns prompt Metro to buy masks, cleaning supplies

Metro is planning to buy thousands of face masks, cans of disinfectant and bottles of hand sanitizer as an emergency measure to prepare just in case the new coronavirus spreads to the D.C. area or there is a large flu outbreak.

“The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) is seeking bids from qualified contractors to provide emergency flu supplies for the safety of WMATA employees and ward against the spread of the coronavirus,” said an invitation for bids released this week.

The request was only made as fears over the new coronavirus spread, but the materials could be stockpiled for other times as well.

Metro could have the 43,428 disposable dust masks; 797 reusable masks; 1,846 cases of disinfectant and disinfectant wipes, plus hand sanitizer dispensers; 1,478 boxes of rubber gloves; 362 trash bags; 9,495 small hand sanitizer bottles and other materials on hand by the end of next week.

The order is being placed as a precaution, not because of any imminent threat.

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