FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) - A shipment of Personal Protective Equipment was sent to Kentucky on Monday afternoon to aid healthcare workers in their efforts to contain the coronavirus and treat those who are already affected.
Last week, the Kentucky health officials contacted Sixth District Congressman Andy Barr, R-Lexington, with concerns that PPE stock in local hospitals would run low in the wake of increased health care needs due to the outbreak of COVID-19. PPE includes items such as masks, gloves, gowns and other critical supplies in high demand for healthcare workers.
Barr then, in turn, contacted Dr. Robert Kadlec, the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, to relay these concerns. He requested Kentucky be given access to the Strategic National Stockpile, the nation’s largest supply of potentially life-saving pharmaceuticals and medical supplies, including masks and PPE, for use in a public health emergency.
The Congressman coordinated a formal request from the Kentucky Department for Public Health to HHS, which was received on March 13, and was quickly determined to “meet requirements.”
“I am thankful to Assistant Secretary Kadlec for his quick response to my request, and to the Kentucky Department for Public Health, for getting these much-needed supplies to Kentucky’s healthcare facilities for use as they work to combat COVID-19,” said Barr. “I stand ready to help facilitate these and similar requests from those on the front lines of this pandemic in the days and weeks ahead.”
Barr says he is to hold a conference call with top officials from area hospitals in Kentucky’s Sixth District to gather information about other needs they may have.