Delaware joins regional effort to handle PPE and other supplies
A group of Northeast states, including Delaware, are coming together to create a regional supply chain for personal protective equipment and medical supplies.
The group intends to use its combined purchasing power to save money on buying PPE and other supplies like testing equipment.
It will also work on plans to better distribute them as states reopen and prepare for a potential second wave of COVID-19 when stay at home orders are slowly lifted.
The First State is teaming up with Connecticut, Massachusetts New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania on the effort.
Gov. John Carney says that is a major help to a small state like Delaware
"If we’re going to go head-to-head with New York, we’re not going to get it. If we’re along shoulder to shoulder with [New York], with [New Jersey] Gov. Murphy, and [Pennsylvania] Gov. Wolf, we have a good chance of getting a better price and getting the product that we need."
The state’s My Healthy Community website indicates Delaware currently has over two weeks worth of N95 masks, face shields and goggles and a 1-2 week supply of isolation masks and surgical masks. It has a critical need for gowns, gloves and surgical masks with face shields.
Carney adds there are other benefits to coming together.
"Just all the assets that the other states can bring to the table in terms of intellectual capacity – your research institutions, your hospitals – because we know there are going to be breakthroughs – or we hope – in testing and other types of technology as we respond to this," said Carney.
The coalition will also develop policies for handling future protective gear needs.
The states had already come together to work on coordinating plans to reopen and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says they have already been working together as necessary.
"The word 'neighbor' has different connotation. You don't normally think of the surrounding states as neighbors. You think of the person next door as a neighbor. But they are neighbors and have acted as neighbors," said Cuomo. "In that spirit, we want to keep that coalition together and we want to work together."
Cuomo adds the states in the coalition will continue to coordinate with the federal goverment on PPE and supply issues.