The PPE Crisis Didn’t Go Away: Across the U.S., Grassroots Supply Networks are Trying to Fill the Void

December 3, 2020 by Christen Aldrich

Filed under COVID-19 for Employers, COVID-19 for the Workforce

Last modified December 23, 2020

According to this article from STAT News, while major metropolitan hospitals have largely stabilized their supply chains for PPE such as masks, facilities and communities that serve some of the most vulnerable populations are still struggling to get what they need.

An analysis by Get Us PPE, a nonprofit group, found that while the PPE requests it received were almost evenly split between hospitals and non-hospital settings in April, by October over 90% of requests were from facilities such as homeless shelters, natural disaster relief groups, and nurses’ offices in schools. Smaller hospitals are also struggling.

“Even if there’s still inadequate supply, major hospital systems have been able to access that inadequate supply because they have the financial means,” said Megan Ranney, a co-founder of Get Us PPE, which organizes and distributes PPE donations to both hospital and nonhospital facilities across the country. “The clinics, safety net hospitals, the critical access rural hospitals, the smaller nursing homes are absolutely still lacking PPE.”

As stated in the article, the failure of the federal government to procure adequate protective equipment for frontline workers is an ongoing tragedy. At the same time, a grassroots movement including organizations like Get Us PPE is trying to fill the void. With the pandemic projected to worsen in the coming months, the question is whether it will be enough.

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