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Boscola Bulletin

Pennsylvania COVID-19 PPE & Supplies Business-2-Business (B2B) Interchange Directory

COVID-19 PPE & Supplies This is some good info right here: If you are in need of materials to safely conduct essential business throughout the Commonwealth, the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development has created a supplier directory for protective materials including, but not limited to, N95 masks, fabric masks, surgical masks, and hand sanitizer.

Company & product information provided in this directory were gathered as a means of connecting Pennsylvania businesses and organizations that are seeking various Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and other related items, to assist them in combating the COVID-19 crisis.

COVID-19 Guidance on Distribution of Personal Protective Equipment

Guidance on Distribution of Personal Protective Equipment My office has recently received many inquiries surrounding personal protective equipment (PPE) – what falls under that category, who needs to wear it, where can it be obtained, etc. I want to make sure that everyone knows what they need to do (or not to do) to stay safe as we start to re-open Pennsylvania for business. 

PPE is any type of specialized clothing, barrier product, or breathing device used to protect workers from serious injuries or illnesses while doing their jobs. These include gloves (vinyl, latex or nitrile); gowns; shoe and head covers; masks or respirators (N-95 respirator or higher); and other face and eye protection (goggles or a face shield). 

As the Commonwealth has responded to COVID-19 outbreaks across the state, the volume of PPE requests, the frequency for which those requests have come, and changes in the types of PPE required by different types of individuals has caused the Department of Health and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) to revise the process for PPE requests from medical facilities and first responders.  The following is a summary of those revised changes that more accurately reflects our current state in terms of response and PPE (click to view entire Fact Sheet).

Plan for Pennsylvania: Testing Strategy

testingAnother question we often field in my office is the question of testing – and the availability of testing.  Increased testing capacity is a critical aspect to successfully reopen Pennsylvania; especially as certain regions move from aggressive mitigation to containment strategies. There are varied approaches to COVID-19 diagnostic testing that include differences among test type, criteria for testing and measures for success. Diagnostic testing determines if an individual has an active infection with COVID-19, while serologic (antibody) testing determines if an individual was previously infected at some point. Pennsylvania’s vision is to ensure that anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 is able to receive a diagnostic test.

Increasing Testing Availability

An increase in laboratory equipment, test kits and specimen collection sites is critical to enhancing testing capacity across the state. The Department of Health is closely working with the Department of Community and Economic Development, other state agencies and federal partners to seek additional testing resources.
Using the Department of Health's incident command structure, the Department of Health will have the responsibility of determining who should be tested and what tests are needed; the Department of Community and Economic Development will proactively seek out FDA-approved testing resources while working closely with Pennsylvania-based private sector partners to develop new testing technology; and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency will assist with getting tests into the hands of communities. This team will also identify necessary funding to meet the needs of this accessible, available and adaptable testing strategy. As more testing sites become available, they will be listed on the Department of Health's Coronavirus Symptoms & Testing webpage.

Ensuring the Plan is Adaptable

The Department of Health recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to evolve rapidly as the tools, research and data are improved to protect public health. This means we must remain flexible in our strategy. As more information becomes available, the Department of Health will continue to refine the Commonwealth’s approach based on scientific evidence and input from communities in Pennsylvania. The commonwealth will continue to review where the greatest need for testing is and leverage mobile testing capabilities when possible to ensure flexibility in the testing response.

Plan for Pennsylvania: Contact Tracing​

Contact TracingRobust surveillance, case investigation, contact tracing and isolation of positive cases or quarantine of close contacts can slow and stop the transmission of COVID-19. Pennsylvania's public health infrastructure of epidemiologists, community health nurses and county and municipal health departments are the backbone of this work. These public health professionals are supported by surveillance and case management technology tools to track, manage and evaluate efforts. As counties return to work the Department of Health will conduct complete case investigation and contact tracing of positive cases to stamp out disease transmission. Positive cases will be isolated, and their close contacts counseled and quarantined reducing risk of transmission in these communities.

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Offices of State Senator Lisa M. Boscola

One East Broad Street
Suite 120
Bethlehem, PA 18018
(610) 868-8667
Fax: (610) 861-2184
Toll-free: 1-877-535-1818
1701 Washington Blvd.
Easton, PA 18042
(610) 250-5627
(610) 250-5629
Fax: (610) 250-1889
458 Main Capitol Building
Senate Box 203018
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3018
(717) 787-4236
Fax: (717) 783-1257
Senate of PA:
1-800-364-158 (TTY)