NOTTINGHAM, MD—In an effort to better assist state nursing homes that are having difficulty acquiring personal protective equipment (PPE) to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, County Executive Johnny Olszewski on Monday announced that the county will make additional supplies available directly to state-regulated long-term care facilities across Baltimore County.
This effort will supplement existing processes for long-term care facilities who otherwise obtain supplies directly or through the state of Maryland.
“Residents and staff at long term care facilities are uniquely vulnerable to this virus, making it critical we must ensure they have the resources they need to stay safe,” Olszewski said. “Adequate personal protective equipment for front-line personnel is a key factor in ensuring we are ready to safely reopen in Baltimore County, and this effort is an important step toward that goal.”
Baltimore County is securing 60,000 surgical masks, 40,000 isolation gowns, and a significant supply of gloves in a variety of sizes. This effort leverages the county’s supply chain, vendor contacts and purchasing infrastructure to assist facilities that have been unable to secure needed equipment on their own.
County-purchased PPE may be issued to long-term care facilities under the following circumstances:
- Upon a direct request for assistance from a facility
- If County survey data indicates a need for PPE at a specific facility
- If a State “Strike Team” request indicates a shortage of PPE
- If Baltimore County EMS teams notice a need for PPE when they respond to a facility to provide patient care
- If the Baltimore County Department of Health determines a need exists that could best be addressed through a disbursement of County-purchased supplies
Olszewski has noted that improved access to PPE at critical sites would be a key indicator for a safe reopening.
Last week, the Baltimore County Department of Health launched a new effort to distribute COVID-19 safety kits, which consist of personal protective items including masks, gloves, other safety items, as well as educational resource materials, in under-served communities.
More than 50 percent of Maryland’s COVID-19 cases have occurred in group living facilities and nursing homes.