SACRAMENTO – Taking aggressive action to boost California’s long-term supply of life-saving personal protective equipment or PPE both now and into the fall months, Governor Gavin Newsom announced new actions this week to strengthen the state’s response to COVID-19.
“Providing front-line workers the protective equipment they need is critical to our state’s response to COVID-19,” Newsom said. “Securing a reliable supply chain of PPE allows us to distribute millions of protective masks to our essential workforce while preserving millions more in our state’s stockpile for future use.”
Further building a stable stockpile so that health care and essential workers in California do not face the same supply shortages that characterized the early stages of the pandemic, Newsom has directed the Department of Public Health and Office of Emergency Services to further increase the state’s strategic stockpile to 100 million N-95 respirators and 200 million surgical masks by early fall in order to account for the potential need given the recent rise in COVID-19 cases.
The announcement builds on early action taken by the state to secure a stable, reliable supply chain and envision short and long-term strategies to procure respirators and masks.
California’s strategy has paid off. The state has been able to supply millions of medical providers, essential workers, and schools with critical PPE to preserve public health and safety. To date, the state has distributed 86.4 million N-95 respirators and 297 million surgical masks to Californians working on the front lines against COVID-19, including to our hospitals, emergency responders, farm and factory workers and nursing home workers.
In order to fulfill the stockpile goal, which was developed in consultation with health leaders and informed by advanced modeling data, the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services has entered into a new contract with California-based BYD North America to produce 120 million N-95 respirators and 300 million surgical masks for the state.
The global COVID-19 pandemic has created worldwide competition and shortages for vital PPE supply, with certified N-95 respirator masks in highest demand. California, like other states and national governments all over the world, is working to secure a reliable supply of PPE for the front-line health care workforce and other critical infrastructure workers.
California has also been able to help other states with their unmet emergency PPE needs, supplying 17 million surgical masks to our neighbors in Arizona, Nevada, Oregon and Alaska.
The contract with BYD can be viewed here.
Ensuring Continued Supply
Today’s announcement is part of an ongoing effort to move expeditiously in a globally competitive market to meet California’s anticipated demands, by putting a bridge contract into place with the critical supply of life-saving masks.
The bridge contract signed today with BYD will ensure California can provide PPE to its front-line workforce during the ongoing global pandemic, at a competitive price rate and with an established and reliable partner.
In the longer term, California is establishing a leveraged master procurement where any manufacturers can apply, and California purchasers can secure supplies at competitive pricing.
Other Actions to Secure PPE
This new bridge contract is part of a wider effort by the administration to prioritize the acquisition, dispersal and reuse of critical personal protective equipment and other emergency assets and commodities during the COVID-19 pandemic to protect the public health and safety.
Operation Airbridge: The state has worked closely with FEMA and the federal government to provide a total of 14,757,500 N-95 masks, and 87,552,500 surgical masks to private-sector medical providers who sold to hospitals and clients.
Safely Making CA: In June, the Governor announced a partnership with the California Manufacturers and Technology Association (CMTA) to allow small businesses, health care providers and others in need of PPE to purchase PPE directly from the California-based businesses.
There are approximately 400 companies signed up to sell non-medical grade PPE on this website. Since the Governor announced Safely Making CA, the site has had over 40,300 unique hits, with 435 product listings (e.g. cloth masks, face shields, hand sanitizer and gloves).
For more information about California PPE manufacturers, visit www.safelymakingca.org.
Battelle Units: Through a partnership with FEMA, the state leveraged Battelle Critical Care Decontamination systems to decontaminate N-95 respirators, allowing for their reuse during the supply chain shortage of this critical piece of PPE. On April 20, the first Battelle site was established in Burbank. The second was established in Fremont on April 25.
As of July 19, California’s Battelle units have decontaminated 194,865 N-95 respirators, with 1,904 facilities signed up for the service.
Facilities currently utilizing the decontamination units include hospitals, assisted living facilities, skilled nursing facilities, hospice care, first responders, state and local government, U.S. Veterans Affairs hospitals and other health care facilities.
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