TVA donating 50,000 masks to health care professionals due to COVID-19 outbreak

File staff Photo by Angela Lewis Foster / The Tennessee Valley Authority building (TVA) in downtown Chattanooga

NASHVILLE - The nation's largest government-owned electric utility, the Tennessee Valley Authority, announced today it is donating 50,000 N95 masks to help state agencies and health professionals cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.

'We are doing our part to help out the nurses and doctors on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic," TVA said in a tweet. "We are donating 50,000 N95 masks to state emergency management agencies, who will then distribute these much needed supplies to hospitals and medical professionals. #COVID19."

N95 respirators and surgical masks are in short supply in many if not most areas of the nation. They are personal protective equipment used to protect physicians, nurses and other frontline medical providers from airborne particles and from liquid contaminating the face.

TVA's coverage area includes most of Tennessee and parts of six other states - Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia.

(Read more: If you can sew, you can make face masks for coronavirus fight)

Contact Andy Sher at or 615-255-0550. Follow on Twitter @AndySher1