Gov. Ralph Northam says the state stands ready to supply protective equipment to nursing homes and clinics that need it, but only after they have “exhausted” private supply chains.
As state officials report that Virginia’s hospitals have adequate supplies to treat COVID-19 patients, the spotlight has turned to nursing homes, urgent care clinics and other health care settings.
A dashboard published by the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association said Wednesday that at least 21 nursing homes — where the state has seen the deadliest outbreaks — lack an adequate supply of gowns and 10 did not have access to N-95 masks. In comparison, it showed no hospitals in need of additional personal protective equipment in the next 72 hours.
Northam said Wednesday that the state's priority for its public stockpile is “to support the state COVID-19 response and testing.” But, Northam said, the state stands ready to help any health care setting that m be working with COVID-19 patients.
“Health care providers should exhaust private supply chains before requesting state assistance. At the same time, we’ve been clear that no one treating COVID-19 patients, or supporting COVID-19 related activities like testing should go without [personal protective equipment].”
Northam said the Department of General Services is performing “rapid reviews” of vendors selling COVID-19 supplies and services to ease access to facilities in need.
Northam said the state has so far distributed 794,000 N-95 respirators, 1.3 million surgical masks, 3 million gloves, 285,000 gowns, 427,000 face shields, and 24,000 containers of hand sanitizer.