COVID-19 PPE Resources

Value First is a group purchasing organization owned by LeadingAge California, LeadingAge, and 24 other state associations. Powered by MedAssets, 

Value First is a free service designed to combine the purchasing power of senior living communities and LeadingAge members across the country. For availability and pricing on PPE and all other supplies contact Amanda Jackson at ajackson@leadingageca.org

PPE Optimization

The CDC provided several resources disclosing how to optimize available PPE. The CDC shared strategies on how to best optimize supplies of facemasks, isolation gowns, eye protection, and N95 respirators.

The CDC also outlines measures that should be taken to optimize PPE during three stratas of surge capacity: conventional capacity, contingency capacity, and crisis capacity. Visit the CDC’s PPE supply page for more information regarding PPE during surge capacity.

Attaining Additional PPE

If PPE is not available through traditional sources, contact your local Medical Health Operational Area Coordinator (MHOAC) listed here. MHOACs are taking orders for any supplies the state receives.

Additionally, organizations can access essential supplies as they become available on Amazon Business by filling out this form.

Alternative Solutions to Traditional PPE

Due to low supply, health care professionals are turning to alternatives for PPE. These alternative solutions range from DIY masks to alternative protective eyewear. The CDC advices that homemade options be a last resort, but provide guidelines in case the need arises.

DIY Mask Resources (NOTE: Homemade masks are not considered PPE, since their capability to protect HCP is unknown.)

Several fluid-resistant and impermeable protective clothing options are available in the marketplace for HCP. These include isolation gowns and surgical gowns. When no gowns are available the CDC recommends the following pieces of clothing be considered as a last resort for care of COVID-19 patients as single use.

  • Disposable laboratory coats
  • Reusable (washable) patient gowns
  • Reusable (washable) laboratory coats
  • Disposable aprons

DIY Gown Resources

Shift from disposable to reusable protective eyewear i.e. goggles, and reusable face shields and optimize supply of eye protection

DIY Face Shield Resources

Safety Glasses

These should generally not be used for infection control purposes, as they do not provide the same level of drop protection as goggles and face shields.

The best hand hygiene requires hand washing with soap and water. When soap and water are unavailable, alcohol-based hand sanitizers can serve as an alternative.

EPA has posted a list of disinfectants to use against COVID-19

Alternative outlets to purchase sanitizers

Sanitizing Procedures for PPE

CDPH Guidelines for extended use of N95 masks:

Extended use is generally preferred to reuse due to less risk of contact transmission.

  • The maximum recommended extended use period is 8–12 hours
  • Respirators should not be worn for multiple work shifts and should not be reused after extended use
  • Respirators should be removed and discarded before activities such as meals and restroom breaks

Facilities should discard respirators:

  • Following use during aerosol generating procedures
  • Contaminated with blood, respiratory or nasal secretions, or other bodily fluids from patients
  • Following close contact with, or exit from, the care area of any patient co-infected with an infectious disease requiring contact precautions
  • That is obviously damaged or becomes hard to breathe through

CDC Guidelines for extended use of facemasks:

  • The facemask should be removed and discarded if soiled, damaged, or hard to breathe through.
  • HCP must take care not to touch their facemask. If they touch or adjust their facemask they must immediately perform hand hygiene.
  • HCP should leave the patient care area if they need to remove the facemask.
  • Facemasks should be carefully folded so that the outer surface is held inward and against itself to reduce contact with the outer surface during storage. The folded mask can be stored between uses in a clean sealable paper bag or breathable container. NOTE: Not all facemasks can be re-used.
  • Facemasks that fasten to the provider via ties may not be able to be undone without tearing and should be considered only for extended use, rather than re-use.
  • Facemasks with elastic ear hooks may be more suitable for re-use.

CDC Guidelines for homemade cloth masks:

Homemade masks are not considered PPE, since their capability to protect HCP is unknown. Caution should be exercised when considering this option. Homemade masks should ideally be used in combination with a face shield that covers the entire front (that extends to the chin or below) and sides of the face. If used:

  • A washing machine should suffice in properly washing a face covering.
  • They should be routinely washed.

CDC Guidelines for gowns:

Reusable patient gowns and lab coats can be safely laundered according to routine procedures. Laundry operations and personnel may need to be augmented to facilitate additional washing loads and cycles. Systems are established to routinely inspect, maintain (e.g., mend a small hole in a gown, replace missing fastening ties) and replace reusable gowns when needed (e.g., when they are thin or ripped)

CDPH Guidelines for Reuse:

  • Examine face shields, and other eye protection prior to use
  • Perform hand hygiene if staff touch eye protection
  • Perform reprocessing of face shields and eye protection according to recommended manufacturer instructions.

If these are unavailable, consider the following procedure:

  • While wearing gloves, carefully wipe the inside, followed by the outside of the face shield or goggles using a clean cloth saturated with neutral detergent solution or cleaner wipe
  • Carefully wipe the outside of the face shield or goggles using a wipe or clean cloth saturated with EPA-registered hospital disinfectant solution
  • Wipe the outside of face shield or goggles with clean water or alcohol to remove residue
  • Fully dry (air dry or use clean absorbent towels)
  • Remove gloves and perform hand hygiene

CDPH Guidelines for Reuse:

  • Examine face shields, and other eye protection prior to use
  • Perform hand hygiene if staff touch eye protection
  • Perform reprocessing of face shields and eye protection according to recommended manufacturer instructions.

If these are unavailable, consider the following procedure:

  • While wearing gloves, carefully wipe the inside, followed by the outside of the face shield or goggles using a clean cloth saturated with neutral detergent solution or cleaner wipe
  • Carefully wipe the outside of the face shield or goggles using a wipe or clean cloth saturated with EPA-registered hospital disinfectant solution
  • Wipe the outside of face shield or goggles with clean water or alcohol to remove residue
  • Fully dry (air dry or use clean absorbent towels)
  • Remove gloves and perform hand hygiene

CDC Guidelines for Reuse:

The eyewear described above is generally not disposable and must be disinfected before reuse. Where possible, each individual worker should be assigned his/her own eye protection to insure appropriate fit and to minimize the potential of exposing the next wearer. A labeled container for used (potentially contaminated) eye protection should be available in the HCW change-out/locker room. Eye protection deposited here can be collected, disinfected, washed, and then reused.

CDC Guidelines for Disinfection:

Healthcare setting-specific procedures for cleaning and disinfecting used patient care equipment should be followed for reprocessing reusable eye protection devices. Manufacturers may be consulted for their guidance and experience in disinfecting their respective products. Contaminated eye protection devices should be reprocessed in an area where other soiled equipment is handled. Eye protection should be physically cleaned and disinfected with the designated hospital disinfectant, rinsed, and allowed to air dry. Gloves should be worn when cleaning and disinfecting these devices.

CDC Guidelines for Disinfecting Face Shields:

  1. While wearing gloves, carefully wipe the inside, followed by the outside of the face shield or goggles using a clean cloth saturated with neutral detergent solution or cleaner wipe.
  2. Carefully wipe the outside of the face shield or goggles using a wipe or clean cloth saturated with EPA-registered hospital disinfectant solution.
  3. Wipe the outside of face shield or goggles with clean water or alcohol to remove residue.
  4. Fully dry (air dry or use clean absorbent towels).
  5. Remove gloves and perform hand hygiene.

Additional CDC Resources

  • Personal Protection Equipment FAQS
  • Optimize PPE Supply
  • Personal Protective Burn Rate Calculator This is a spreadsheet-based model that provides information for healthcare facilities to plan and optimize the use of PPE.