California recalls N95 masks obtained through $90M contract with Santa Clara-based company, ADVOQUE

California is recalling N95 masks obtained through a $90 million contract with Advoque, a company based in Santa Clara, after federal regulators revoked certification for the masks last week.

The California Department of Public Health announced Monday that organizations possessing Advoque N95 masks “immediately cease use and distribution of this product” and notify the state so officials can send replacements.

N95 masks are thought to be most effective in preventing spread of the coronavirus and have been in high demand during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The state’s N95 contracts require that the masks be federally certified, Office of Emergency Services spokesman Brian Ferguson said.

“It is a condition of the contract, and is incumbent upon the vendor, to maintain this certification,” Ferguson said in a statement. “The contract with this vendor has strong provisions to safeguard the state and the administration is exploring all available legal and contractual actions to protect the interests of Californians.”

In a letter to customers Wednesday, the company said the problem arose when some masks were tested at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and fell short of the agency’s standards for N95 designation.

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