Oregon receives federal shipments with thousands of PPE for healthcare workers

A shipment of 78 pallets containing PPE from USAID arrived in Oregon on Friday, the Office of Emergency Management said.

SALEM, Ore. — Frontline health care workers in Oregon should soon be getting a much-needed boost of personal protective equipment (PPE) after the state received a federal shipment on Friday.

The Office of Emergency Management said that it received the shipment of 78 pallets from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), containing masks, face shields, gloves and other PPE needed to fight the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

State officials said that they still needed to take inventory to get exact totals, but they expect about 150,000 N95 masks, 2,500 scrubs pants, 2,000 scrubs tops, 250 coveralls, and almost 67,000 face shields.

The shipment will go to Oregon’s distribution center in Wilsonville before its distributed out to counties and tribes that need the PPE.

“In these unprecedented times, this large shipment of PPE will make a huge difference in Oregon’s ability to fight this outbreak. However, it’s clear that even this shipment will not be sufficient to meet the expected needs of our health care workers,” said OEM director Andrew Phelps. “While we continue to work with our state, federal, and private partners to procure as much PPE as we can, I urge Oregonians to continue practicing social distancing. Staying home supports first responders and frontline workers, and will ensure Oregon’s supply of PPE lasts longer.”

The shipment came from USAID’s disaster assistance warehouse in Dubai. According to OEM, the Dubai stockpile hasn’t been tapped for domestic emergency use since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Qualified public safety personnel will inspect and take inventory of the PPE before they are sent out to counties “based on population and number of active cases of COVID-19.” The counties will then be charged with distributing the gear to first responders and health care workers treating for COVID-19.