HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — When it comes to stockpiling PPE for our state, Governor Lamont says we have about 60-70 days worth but with a possible second wave, he’s hoping to lock down 90 days worth of masks gloves and other supplies by the end of this month.
As the number of coronavirus infections rises, so too does the demand for personal protective equipment (PPE).
A shortage of masks, gowns and everything healthcare workers needed to keep themselves safe marred the first few months of the pandemic — not only in Connecticut, but throughout the country.
Experts said the reason is simple: The U.S. has relied more on importing those items than on making them here at home. As the demand around the world intensified, China was exporting few masks, while making even fewer.
Doctor Todd Ellerin, Director of Infectious Diseases at South Shore Health told ABC News, it’s like a perfect storm for creating a problem around the world and also in the U.S.
There are concerns once again about ongoing PPE shortages nationwide, and, as infections skyrocket across the country, the shortages could potentially get worse.
During Thursday’s briefing, News 8’s Rich Copolla asked Governor Ned Lamont how the state is positioned with respect to PPE moving forward. He said it’s all about being proactive.
“We are restocking our PPE right there at the New Britain warehouse,” he said. “We’re not waiting for some stockpile from Washington, D.C., or flights from China. We’ve established strong corporate relationships with major suppliers and that is continuing to come in, although some of the stuff is getting quite competitive now like the N95 mask.”
What has also helped the state, the governor said, is that we have much more testing capacity now than back in March and April — as does the country.
Lamont went on to say this is why his administration is putting public health first, and why he was strict about the reopening and pausing Phase 3, adding that if a second wave hit, we’d be ready. However, all of us must do our part.
“Wearing a face covering whenever you’re in a group is probably one of the most important things we can do to respect one another, to care for one another and to make sure Connecticut avoids a second wave,” said Deidre Gifford, Commissioner of the Department of Social Services.
Also in preparation for an increase in cases, Hartford Hospital is also holding a beam installation for eighteen critical care beds in response to the pandemic.