Santa Clara County issued an order Wednesday asking individuals and businesses to report if they had ventilators or large inventories of personal protective equipment in anticipation of a forthcoming shortage as cases of the novel coronavirus continued to rise.
The county currently has a sufficient supply of equipment, but officials are preparing for an immediate need for more supplies beyond what state and federal government may be able to provide.
The order came one day after the county confirmed 1,380 COVID-19 cases and 46 deaths. Silicon Valley has been one of the hardest-hit parts of California.
“The intent is to ensure we have comprehensive collective information about what PPE exists across the community,” said Dr. Sara Cody, the county’s public health department director. Officials anticipate that most individuals will not need to report any equipment. Information on those who do report their gear will remain confidential, county counsel James Williams said.
Individuals and businesses that have more than a minimum supply of equipment are expected to report to the county by April 15. That includes anyone with:
• More than 5,000 nitrile or vinyl gloves
• Over 500 N95 masks
• 501-plus surgical or procedure masks
• More than 100 safety goggles and face shields
• Over a gallon of hand santizer
• Any ventilator
“The order is about protecting the people who protect us,” Williams said. “We’re sheltering at home. These people are out there on the front lines protecting people who are infected. We need to protect the protectors.”