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Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) During COVID-19

Guidance for prioritizing and optimizing use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in Massachusetts during the COVID-19 response.

Table of Contents

Distribution of PPE

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is acutely aware of rapidly expanding needs for personal protective equipment (PPE) for numerous organizations across the state – including masks, gowns, gloves, and eye protection. PPE resources are limited in the Commonwealth and we must conserve the use of PPE. Currently, DPH and MEMA are only able to serve as a bridge when an entity has a critically low supply. The Commonwealth is not able to supplant the normal supply chain for PPE.

Distribution Summary

See the latest daily summary of distribution of Personal Protective Equipment in Massachusetts in the Dashboard on COVID-19 Response Reporting.

We are deploying all possible resources to increase supplies through every and all potential avenues- without compromising on protective specifications. Our efforts include advocating for more supplies from the federal Strategic National Stockpile, sourcing new supplies and working with local partners to acquire excess inventory. Every avenue is being tapped.

Guidance

Requesting PPE

Where do I go to make a PPE request?

If you anticipate a supply shortage within the next 5 days and are unable to source the material(s) through your normal supply chain, then you may request PPE in the following manner:

If you are a medical facility, nursing home, assisted living facility, community health center, private/non-fire-based EMS, local public health group, or otherwise providing clinical care:

If you are a local Police Department, Fire Department, joint Fire/EMS Department, county agencies (ex. Sheriff), state agency, or local municipality:

I am having trouble placing my request. Who can I contact?

If you are a medical facility, nursing home, assisted living facility, community health center, private/ non-fire-based EMS, local public health group or are otherwise providing clinical care and have questions about how to place a request you can email COVID19PPEformsupport@mass.gov.

If you are a local Police Department, Fire Department, joint Fire/EMS Department, county agency (ex. Sheriff), state agency, or local municipality:

  • The local Emergency Management Director in each city and town has access to WebEOC to submit a request. If a community has questions or needs assistance, they should contact their regional MEMA office.
    • Region 1: (978) 328-1500
    • Region 2: (508) 427-0400
    • Region 3/4: (413) 750-1400

State agencies or county agencies (ex. Sheriff offices) with resource requests should contact the MEMA Emergency Operations Center at (508) 820-2000 or email SEOC.OSC@mass.gov.

How is the Commonwealth determining which requests to fill?

We are making every effort to conserve and equitably distribute our limited supply of PPE.

DPH and MEMA will be distributing PPE to provide a bridge of up to 7 days worth of supplies to those facilities with less than 5 days remaining in stock.

We currently have extremely limited supplies; as more material comes into the Commonwealth we will update this guidance and expand deliveries beyond the 7 days.

I provide emergency medical services, do I request PPE through DPH or MEMA?

Either. Private/non-fire-based EMS generally will request PPE through DPH and Fire Departments with EMS included in their department will generally request through MEMA. A request will be processed regardless of where it is submitted.

DPH and MEMA are coordinating on requests. If an entity submits a request through both DPH and MEMA those requests will be merged.

If DPH cannot fill my request, should I submit a request through MEMA?

No. DPH and MEMA coordinate to fill requests for PPE. If a request is made through MEMA for a supply that they do not have on hand, they will coordinate with DPH to try to fill the request. Comparably, if a request is made through DPH for a supply that they do not have on hand, they will coordinate with MEMA to try to fill the request.

How will I know if my request is going to be filled?

  • All requests will be acknowledged within 48 hours.
  • Due to our limited supply, all requests are being prioritized for urgent and emergent needs (less than 5-day supply on hand), not for re-stocking shelves. Requests are filled based on current PPE guidance.
  • Requestors will be asked if they have attempted to place an order through 1 or more of their procurement vendors. Some vendors are starting to deliver supplies.
  • Resources will be filled, as inventory allows, based on a priority criteria that includes on-hand inventory/burn-rate, # of confirmed cases for the county, and the community’s proximity to medical care.
  • Requests will be filled, as inventory allows, to provide a short-term bridge (not to exceed 7 days’ supply) until we are able to expand the supply inventory.

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