National Guard begins PPE distribution to long-term care facilities

Gov. Kate Brown on Monday announced the Oregon National Guard will begin delivering nearly 400,000 pieces of PPE to long-term care facilities across Oregon.

The rapid distribution of masks, gloves, and face shields is aimed to immediately supplement efforts by the Department of Human Services and the Oregon Health Authority to support facilities by helping prevent the spread of COVID-19 to residents and staff.

“The staff of Oregon’s long-term care facilities are on the front lines of our fight against COVID-19, and I am committed to protecting their health and safety,” Brown said in a statement. “This critical equipment will help protect both them, and the residents of these facilities, who are among the most at-risk Oregonians for exposure and infection.

“Thank you to our tireless National Guard members for making this rapid distribution of personal protective equipment possible. We continue to prioritize securing more PPE, including working with local manufacturers and the federal government to procure additional resources.”

The shipments of PPE to Oregon’s long-term care facilities include approximately 177,000 surgical masks, 127,000 gloves, 55,000 N95 masks, 33,000 face shields, and 2,500 gowns.

Members of the Oregon National Guard began deliveries of this equipment Saturday.

“Long-term care providers across the state have been in dire need of personal protective equipment to ensure that our caregivers can follow best practices for infection, prevention, and containment,” said April Diaz, vice president of clinical services for Marquis Companies. “We are grateful to all those involved in acquiring these much-needed resources for Oregon’s long-term care facilities.”

“Long-term care workers are on the front lines of this crisis, but just like every other year, they are under-supported,” said Melissa Unger, executive director of SEIU 503. “Prioritizing PPE for these facilities will save lives and protect the front-line workers who are putting their health at risk to support Oregon’s seniors and people with disabilities.” 

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