Province’s COVID-19 Supply Hub Opens PPE Sales to the Continuing Care Sector
September 3, 2020 | News
The province of British Columbia’s Provincial Supply Chain Coordination Unit is making its stockpile of personal protective equipment (PPE) available to a wider group of organizations, including community services such as private home care and community living providers.
The COVID-19 Supply Hub provides a single point of entry to triage and prioritize donations and requests for PPE and essential cleaning supplies. It is managed under the new Provincial Supply Coordination Unit at Emergency Management BC in partnership with the Provincial Health Services Authority as part of the province’s COVID-19 response. Launched in April 2020, the COVID-19 Supply Hub initially focused on supplies for front-line healthcare workers; however, the list of eligible organizations now extends to broader public sector and other entities providing essential services, including public and private social service providers.
Emergency Management BC have confirmed to SafeCareBC that continuing care providers, including home care and independent living, are within scope.
Organizations wishing to buy PPE or cleaning supplies from the province can visit the site here and request to buy supplies including procedural masks, N95s, isolation gowns, nitrile and vinyl gloves, face shields, protective goggles, hand sanitizer, and cleaning products such as bleach, and general purpose disinfectants. All these products have gone through quality control in partnership with the health authorities to ensure assessments are being conducted by qualified staff, and the province has assured SafeCareBC that it has a high degree of confidence in their quality.
These supplies are intended to supplement, not replace, existing supply sources. The province is also continuing to encourage organizations to follow the advice of the Provincial Health Officer and the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) on the appropriate use of PPE, to minimise the need for supplies.
SafeCareBC has been advocating for more PPE support for the continuing care sector over the course of this pandemic. The opening up of an additional route for care providers to procure PPE is welcome, as SafeCareBC’s most recent PPE survey of the sector (August 11) showed that 82% of care providers were concerned about their ability to maintain adequate PPE levels over the next three to six months. For additional information about alternative suppliers of PPE, visit SafeCareBC’s alternative supplier list: https://www.safecarebc.ca/covid19/alternative-suppliers/.