Personal protective equipment levels stable in the Upper Peninsula

North Central UP

MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) Hospitals across the country have reported some difficulties stocking the personal protective equipment they need. Medical Centers in the U.P. work with the Region 8 Healthcare Coalition for hazard preparedness and one aspect of that is maintaining a stock of PPE.

According to Ed Unger, the coalition coordinator, each hospital reports their PPE levels every day to the state which also gets reported to the federal government so that the levels can be monitored. The Region 8 Healthcare Coalition has an emergency supply of PPE as well in case a healthcare facility runs too low .

“We have our emergency cache supply that we can pull from if one of our facilities gets in a bind,” said Unger. “For example, say they’re down to their last few gowns, we’re able to get them some gowns or masks or gloves for example.”

Unger says that some items are difficult to order quickly, but with tracking stock levels they are able to ensure hospitals don’t run out. The region 8 healthcare coalition meets every other week to check in about their PPE and preparedness situations.

“There’s a lot of stuff that’s difficult to get at times and sometimes we’re waiting a little bit,” said Unger. “We’re always looking for new vendors or new ways to order stuff.”

Despite the levels of PPE stock being stable in the U.P., Unger says they are still being modest about use. He says they are trying to build stock levels still so that if something were to happen, they would have a reserve for use.

“We’re very conscious and we’re making sure it’s not being wasted,” said Unger. “We’re probably in some cases using the equipment we have to the maximum capabilities before we’re disposing of our disposables.”

Anyone can check out the levels of PPE stock and other medical equipment at michigan.gov/coronavirus. Most hospitals in the U.P. are reporting at least 21 days worth of PPE currently.

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