Governor Newsom Announces Federal Health and Safety Certification of Life-Saving N95 Masks

June 08, 2020

BYD North America will begin shipping 150 million N95 masks to the state in the coming days for distribution to front-line workers

N95 masks come in addition to the 110 million surgical masks from BYD that California has already distributed to help sectors reopen safely

SACRAMENTO – Following through on California’s commitment to create a stable, reliable pipeline of life-saving personal protective equipment (PPE) coming into our state, Governor Gavin Newsom today announced that California-based BYD North America has received certification from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to produce N95 respirators for the state.

“Providing California’s front-line health care workers and responders the protective equipment they need is a critical part of our response to COVID-19. This new supply of N95 masks, as well as the surgical masks this contract has already provided, are game-changing and play a crucial role in our state’s public safety and reopening strategy,” said Governor Gavin Newsom.

With the certification now in hand, as outlined in the contract, BYD will produce and ship 150 million N95 masks to the state for distribution to health care workers and those identified by health officials as requiring respirator-style masks. The first shipment of N95 masks produced as part of this contract are expected to arrive in the coming days. The contract will ensure that the state has a sufficient supply of masks going forward should there be need for them in the future.

Cal OES had made NIOSH certification of N95 masks an explicit requirement of the contract with BYD so that California’s doctors, nurses and other front-line workers can be confident that the N95 masks they receive from the state are of the highest quality and meet federal health and safety standards.

Today’s announcement comes just days after Cal OES amended its contract with BYD North America to allow the company with manufacturing capacity overseas until June 12 to complete its certification process for N95 masks from NIOSH.