Wisconsin working to get more protective gear for pandemic fight

Face masks in short supply due to COVID-19: What can you do?
Posted at 4:28 PM, Mar 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-26 17:28:30-04

MADISON (NBC 26) -- Governor Evers launched a new program Thursday to get more protective gear for workers on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.

The initiative is designed to get more personal protective equipment, such as gowns, gloves and masks, to healthcare workers and first responders.

The Governor released a statement asking for companies, schools and other organizations to donate any unused protective equipment they may have sitting in their facilities.

“The state appreciates any donations, but we are also prepared to pay a fair market value for large quantities of this equipment that are offered," the Governor said.

Wisconsinites can now go to to either donate or sell large quantities of PPE to the State of Wisconsin. According to the Governor's office, the State Emergency Operations Center will then work with distribute the PPE to communities that need it the most.

First responders and other non-medical organizations should communicate their PPE needs to their county or tribal emergency management office, which will then forward those requests to the SEOC, a statement from the governor says.

The state is currently seeking the following items:

  • Surgical Gowns (S, L, XL, and XXL)
  • Face/Surgical Masks (adult, pediatric)
  • Gloves (Nitrile, Vinyl, or Butyl)
  • N-95 Particulate Respirators
  • Isolation Gowns
  • Face Shields
  • Tyvek Coveralls
  • Thermometers
  • Foot Coverings

If organizations or businesses have quantities of fewer than 50 of any of these items, they are encouraged to donate them to local health organizations instead of going through the buyback website.

So far, according to the governor's statement, the state has received about 104,680 N95 respirators, 260,840 face/surgical masks, 48,168 face shields, 40,512 surgical gowns, 192 coveralls, and 70,375 pairs of gloves from the Strategic National Stockpile. The governor said medical facilities, including hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and clinics, should continue using the established process for requesting supplies from SNS.

The state has also requested assistance from FEMA with purchasing supplies for use by first responders.