With a nationwide shortage of N95 masks and face shields to protect healthcare workers from COVID-19, Santa Clara County Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody issued a new order today that requires individuals and businesses to report large supplies of personal protective equipment (known as PPE).
“The intent of this order is to ensure that we have comprehensive, collective information about what PPE resources exists across our community,” Dr. Cody said at a Wednesday morning press conference. “We know we need PPE to protect health care workers, first responders and other medical staff so they can continue to deliver critical healthcare services to everyone in our community.”
According to the latest tally published Tuesday evening, 1,380 people had tested positive for COVID-19 and 46 people had died from the virus in Santa Clara County. With an expected surge of patients in the coming weeks, county health officials are now asking that the following items and quantities be reported online by 11:59pm on April 15:
- 5,000 or more Nitrile or vinyl gloves.
- 500 or more N95 masks.
- 500 or more surgical or procedure masks.
- 100 or more safety goggles that cover the side of the eyes.
- 100 or more face shields that cover from ear to ear and down to the chin.
- 10 or more gallon bottles of hand sanitizers that are recognized by the CDC as effective against COVID-19.
- All ventilators regardless of condition including critical care ventilators, transport/portable ventilators, CPAP/BiPAP devices approved for invasive use, anesthesia machines and novel ventilators with FDA emergency use authorization.
- 100 or more long-sleeved protective gowns or coveralls.
- 500 or more hair-covering bonnets.
- 500 or more shoe coverings.
- 100 or more containers of bleach wipes.
- 100 of more containers of sanitizing wipes or cloths.
- 100 or more containers of small or medium sized hand sanitizers greater than 8 oz. that are recognized by the CDC as effective against COVID-19.
- 2 or more Clinical Powered Air Purifying Respirator hoods.
- 2 or more Clinical Powered Air Purifying Respirator complete systems minus the hood.
- 2 or more Controlled Air Purifying Respirator complete systems minus the disposable parts.
- 10 or more Controlled Air Purifying Respirator disposable lenses.
- 10 or more Controlled Air Purifying Respirator disposable cuffs.
- 10 or more Controlled Air Purifying Respirator shrouds or hoods.
County Counsel James Williams said the request to report the medical equipment falls under a health and safety code that allows health officers to obtain information about scarce and critical supplies.
“We know that there are actually many businesses in our community that do have some significant stocks of this kind of PPE,” Williams said. “Many of them are not being used right now. Getting this awareness will help us know what supply we can source here locally so that we’re not as reliant on scarce state and federal supplies and so that we can do what we need to as a community.”
Williams assured that the supply information reported will be kept confidential.
Dr. Jennifer Tong, who oversees the county’s hospital surge plan, said that medical workers currently have adequate supplies of protective gear—but they’re preparing for a worst-case scenario. “We have made requests to state and federal levels for replenishing of our supplies, but this is a unique situation in which the disaster is so wide spread across our state and across our country that we can’t rely solely on our state and federal government,” Dr. Tong said. “And we really have to turn locally to see what capacity for inventory exists here in our county.”
County Supervisor Mike Wasserman, who donned a mask before the news conference, emphasized that the order is about “protecting the people who protect us.”
“We’re sheltered at home,” he said. “These people are out there on the front lines protecting people who are infected. We need to protect the protectors. We have a shortage of critical PPE that is needed to safe guard our health care professionals to allow them to provide quality care.”
New Public Health Order for COVID-19 | LIVE Press Conference with the County of Santa Clara | 2020-04-08 The County of Santa Clara is committed to maintaining the health of our entire population. Today, the County of Santa Clara Public Health Department is announcing a new order related to medical grade personal protective equipment (PPE), sanitizing supplies and ventilators and how the public can help us prepare for a potential surge. Full transcript: https://pastebin.com/bH7vD3uY
Posted by County of Santa Clara Public Health Department on Wednesday, April 8, 2020