Target Apologizes for Selling Face Masks

The N95 masks were on store shelves while nearby hospitals faced a dire shortage.

Target store in Hialeah, Fla., June 29, 2016.
Target store in Hialeah, Fla., June 29, 2016.
AP Photo/Alan Diaz, File

SEATTLE (AP) — Target Corp. apologized Saturday for selling face masks in Seattle stores while hospitals face a dire shortage amid a growing coronavirus outbreak.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said his office intervened when it received reports Saturday that the much-needed N95 masks were on Target shelves.

“Those masks are now on their way to the health care workers who desperately need them,” Inslee wrote on Twitter.

Target said on Twitter that the masks were being sold in error in “select Seattle stores” and that it was removing them from shelves and donating them to the Washington Department of Health.

The company said it would also search its inventory for additional masks to donate.

“Target's commitment to communities is unwavering & we apologize,” the company wrote.

Hospitals have run so short of the masks and other personal protection equipment that they've had to ration them, sometimes giving doctors or nurses just one per shift and forcing them to wash them out between patients.

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