HONOLULU — A Honolulu health care company was the victim of a theft of personal protective equipment valued at $250,000, the firm’s president said.
Wilson Care Group said the N95 masks and surgical gloves were being stored before distribution to its employees and sales to first responders, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Tuesday.
The home care and senior living business kept the material in a storage area near its offices, company President Shelley Wilson said.
“The door to the area where the PPE was being stored was unlocked and basically opened,” Wilson said. “Many boxes of N95 mask were missing, along with surgical masks and gloves.”
The storage area locks were recently changed, but the locksmith and the company are not suspects, Wilson said.
Half of the company’s medical-grade N95 and “barrier grade” masks and a fourth of its gloves were stolen. Thieves would have needed “a couple of moving vans” to steal all of the inventory, Wilson said.
The Honolulu Police Department did not immediately respond to requests for information.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.
The company’s supply of personal protection equipment is for use by more than 500 nurses, nurses’ aides and other health care workers providing in-home care on Oahu, along with treatment for military veterans statewide, Wilson said.
Wilson Care Group operates a 22-bed home for seniors in Kailua, where they are treated by health care workers who have lived and worked at the site for three weeks to reduce the chance of introducing the coronavirus, Wilson said.
The rest of the protective gear was moved to an undisclosed location, Wilson said.
“I’m not going to tell anybody where anything is,” she said.