DOHMH Health Alert #9: Conserve All Personal Protective Equipment Now
April 1, 2020
We have entered an unprecedented moment in what will be an extended period of challenges. The New York City Health Department anticipates a persistent increase of high-acuity patients at a time of dwindling resources. These conditions will persist for weeks, if not months.
It is imperative for every member of New York City’s comprehensive health care delivery system to conserve all available personal protective equipment (PPE) right now. The NYC Health Department has distributed over one million N95 respirators, millions of facemasks, and tens of thousands of gloves, gowns, and face shields from city, state, and federal stockpiles, and from private donations, and will continue to distribute PPE, for as long as it lasts, to these high-priority groups: hospitals; nursing homes; visiting nurses caring for patients with possible or confirmed COVID-19; emergency medical services; dialysis centers; and group homes that are licensed by the New York State Office of People Living with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD). We cannot supply to groups other than those listed. Whether or not you are a member of one of the aforementioned groups, please immediately employ PPE conservation measures recommended by the NYC Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Recommended measures to conserve PPE are different than how we use this equipment during non-pandemic times but are now necessary to maintain availability of this equipment to care for patients. The growing surge of COVID-19 patients means that healthcare facilities MUST ask all healthcare workers who require PPE to IMMEDIATELY implement these measures to slow the burn rate of these important supplies.
Demetre C. Daskalakis, MD, MPH
Deputy Commissioner Division of Disease Control