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Governor Kate Brown today announced Oregon's progress acquiring personal protective equipment (PPE) in the wake of her directive to collect as much available supply as possible from around the state. The effort is underway in anticipation of the surge of COVID-19 patients that will need treatment in the coming weeks.
She thanked those individuals, businesses, organizations, and health care providers who have already responded to her call to contribute any available reserves of PPE for COVID-19 response. However, even the significant amounts donated fall far short of what is needed in Oregon, with health care workers across the state still reusing PPE and even making their own masks and face shields due to national PPE shortages.
“I want to sincerely thank every single individual and organization who contributed to this effort," said Governor Brown. "You truly reflect the Oregon way––coming together in difficult times for the good of Oregonians most in need.”
The Oregon Dental Association (ODA) was among the first organizations leading the way through a donation drive that resulted in more than 60,000 masks and approximately 600,000 gloves, gowns, and face shields from dentists across Oregon. ODA completed the drive after the Governor’s March 19 call to conserve personal protective equipment, which is essential when diagnosing, treating, and caring for individuals with COVID-19.
“Health care workers cannot safely treat COVID-19 patients without personal protective equipment, and I have directed the state Emergency Coordination Center (ECC) to focus state resources on procuring as much PPE as possible."
In addition to the contributions of the ODA, the ECC has received over 104,000 masks and 273,000 gloves from private donations.
However, a far greater amount of PPE will still be necessary to fill the need of health care workers to treat Oregon's anticipated surge of COVID-19 patients––a need which only the federal government has the resources to meet.
“I know these are challenging times for all Oregonians, including the medical providers who have halted all non-urgent procedures in response to my recent executive order. Doing so allows us to conserve and redirect these critical resources to our state’s COVID-19 response. The contributions Oregonians have made so far are a great start, but Oregon's health care workers will need still more PPE as this public health crisis continues. We must continue to do everything possible to make sure they have the equipment they need."
Governor Brown issued Executive Order 20-10 on March 19, 2020, in response to a risk of a severe shortage of personal protective equipment in the state. Without this equipment, health care providers on the front line of the coronavirus public health emergency are at risk of exposure and infection.
Source: Governor's Office