Gov. Tom Wolf signed an order on Wednesday that will allow the state to track all personal protective equipment and supplies held by health care providers, as well as manufacturers and distributers, and allocate it to facilities with the greatest need.
The order allows the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency to work with other state agencies to reimburse facilities for personal equipment and have those supplies allocated to other organizations.
Personal protective equipment, or PPE, includes any equipment that health care providers can use to limit their exposure to hazards such as COVID-19, including respirators, face shields and disinfectants.
“Combatting a pandemic means we all have to work together and that means we need to make the best use of our medical assets to ensure the places that need them most have them,” Wolf said. “Today, I am signing an order that will allow us to transfer supplies and information between medical facilities to both high-population, high-impact areas and lower population areas that might not have as many existing medical resources.”
Through the order, all health care providers and manufacturers, distributors and suppliers of PPE, pharmaceuticals and other medical resources, are asked to submit a list of their current inventory supplies by April 13.
Health care providers and facilities are also mandated to provide written reports of their needs related to PPE so PEMA can determine how much equipment to allocate to them.
PEMA, along with other state agencies, will then reimburse organizations for their PPE and redistribute them to health care providers that report that they are in need, Wolf said.
“I commend Pennsylvania’s medical facilities for their efforts so far in helping to shift resources toward the fight against COVID-19,” he said. “Many are already working together to shift resources among facilities, both public and private, and many of our medical facilities have shifted resources internally.”