LV health systems prepare PPE inventory for state redistribution contingency plan as coronavirus cases mount

Written by on April 13, 2020

LV health systems prepare PPE inventory for state redistribution contingency plan as coronavirus cases mount

By Jen Rehill

April 13, 2020

Lehigh Valley Health Network CEO Brian Nester on Community Update on Coronavirus

Today, April 13, is the deadline for health care systems and some other businesses to send state emergency management officials a detailed inventory of all masks, ventilators and other medical equipment for use in the fight against COVID-19.

WLVR’s Jen Rehill reports it’s part of the governor’s order to commandeer and potentially move supplies to other areas of the state.

State health officials say that eastern Pennsylvania, including the Lehigh Valley, Philadelphia and Wilke-Barre could see a peak in coronavirus cases in the next few days. Other parts of the state, like central PA and Pittsburgh, may see that spike later in the month. 

Lehigh Valley Health Network CEO Brian Nester says he understands the potential need to re-distribute supplies as a quote “extreme back-up plan,” but says he has some concerns.

“I don’t see a reason for it necessarily to be activated at this time… I think all of our colleagues out there have been working together, not competitively at all,” said Nester.

Nestor says they’ve all worked hard over the past 6 weeks to get PPE for staff, and the efforts are ongoing. 

Speaking on a conference call with reporters Friday, Governor Wolf applauded the health systems’ collaborations, and says they’ve been very good at voluntarily moving supplies around.

“If I don’t have to use this, that would be great, but I think this is something that I need to hold in reserve just in case there is an imbalance,” said Wolf.

Wolf says the order could benefit providers in the Lehigh Valley if supplies run short here as caseloads swell. 


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