Mass. hospital readies PPE stockpile to prepare for possible second surge of COVID-19


WORCESTER, Mass. (WPRI) — One Massachusetts hospital says it’s ready if there’s another surge of coronavirus cases.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Henry Lopez, senior director of supply chain logistics for UMass Memorial Health Care, says he was used to placing orders and receiving supplies the next day.

When the pandemic set in, personal protective equipment (PPE) demand slowed down deliveries significantly.

During the summer, when local coronavirus cases remained somewhat under control, it gave UMass Memorial time to build its PPE stockpile back up again.

The hospital says items like N95 masks, wipes, or anything coming from overseas are harder to get than other items. But the hospital says it’s now built up three months of inventory, at COVID levels.

Lopez says it’s taken a lot of behind the scenes work from hospital staff to make it all happen.

“They have been incredible, completely incredible in the effort it has taken us to be able to build this kind of inventory,” Lopez said. “We’re hoping it won’t come, but we’re prepared.”

Lopez adds the hospital was able to add so much inventory, they moved from a 20,000 square-foot facility to a 51,000 square-foot facility.

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