Gov. Tony Evers on March 26 launched an initiative designed to get more personal protective equipment (PPE), such as gowns, gloves and masks, to those working on the front lines of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is absolutely imperative that our healthcare workers and first responders have the equipment they need to stay safe and healthy as they care for our communities. As we face a global shortage of PPE, and are competing with other states to acquire limited resources, I am calling on companies, schools, and other organizations that may have unused protective equipment sitting in their facilities to make those materials available to those who need it most,” Evers said. “The state appreciates any donations, but we are also prepared to pay a fair market value for large quantities of this equipment that are offered.”
Wisconsinites can now go to https://covid19supplies.wi.gov/Donations to either donate or sell large quantities of PPE to the State of Wisconsin.
The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) will then work with distribute the PPE to communities that need it the most.
First responders and other non-medical organizations should communicate their PPE needs to their county or tribal emergency management office, which will then forward those equipment requests to the SEOC for fulfillment.
Medical facilities, including hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and clinics, should continue using the established process for requesting supplies from the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS).
“We are amazed at the outpouring of offers from businesses and other organizations who have already told us they want to help fill the critical need for this equipment across the state,” said Dr. Darrell L. Williams, Wisconsin Emergency Management administrator.
“Our staff has already been working to review those offers of support,” Williams added, “and our hope is this site will help to streamline that process going forward.”
“Wisconsin, like many other states, has a shortage of personal protective equipment due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said DHS Secretary-designee Andrea Palm.
“We are doing everything we can to get more protective equipment so our health care workers, first responders on the frontlines can protect themselves from COVID-19, and in turn, help keep all Wisconsinites safer,” Palm added.
The State of Wisconsin is currently seeking the following items of protective equipment:
• Surgical Gowns (S, L, XL, and XXL);
• Face/Surgical Masks (adult, pediatric);
• Gloves (Nitrile, Vinyl, or Butyl);
• N-95 Particulate Respirators;
• Isolation Gowns;
• Face Shields;
• Tyvek Coveralls;
• Thermometers; and
• Foot Coverings.
If organizations or businesses have quantities of fewer than 50 of any of these items, they are encouraged to donate them to local health organizations instead of going through the buyback website.
The SEOC and Department of Health Services continue working to supply medical facilities with supplies requested from the SNS.
So far, the state has received about 104,680 N95 respirators, 260,840 face/surgical masks, 48,168 face shields, 40,512 surgical gowns, 192 coveralls, and 70,375 pairs of gloves from the SNS.
The state has also requested assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) with purchasing supplies for use by first responders.