First State joins virus supplies partnership

DOVER — As positive cases of COVID-19 continued to rise Sunday, Delaware announced it will join neighboring states in a coalition to create a personal protective equipment supply chain.

During a press conference Sunday, Gov. John Carney joined governors from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut to discuss how the states will now work together to purchase supplies needed to combat COVID-19.

Andrew Cuomo

The states, as well as Rhode Island and Massachusetts, will form a regional state purchasing consortium to secure PPE, tests, ventilators and other medical equipment, said New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

As a region, the states will determine what, and how much, equipment is needed, and share information on what vendors to purchase supplies from, Gov. Cuomo said.

“I also believe it’ll help us actually get the equipment — because we have trouble still getting the equipment, and just buying the equipment, because these vendors on the other side, they’re dealing with countries, they’re dealing with the federal government,” he continued. “Why should they do business with one state when they can do business with an entire country? So, this consortium, I think, will help us get the equipment and get it at a better price.”

The consortium comes as a preparation for a second wave of the virus, Gov. Cuomo said, and to prepare for an eventual reopening of the states.

“It’s just so incredibly important for us, in terms of getting the right pricing — if we’re going head-to-head with New York, we’re not going to get it,” Gov. Carney told Gov. Cuomo during the briefing. “If we’re along shoulder-to-shoulder with you, with Governor [Phil] Murphy and Governor [Tom] Wolf, we’ve got a good chance of getting a better price and getting the product that we need.”

John Carney

My Healthy Community, where Delaware Department of Health and Social Services aggregates data on the virus in the state, lists the inventory status for materials like masks, face shields and gloves in the state.

Three items — surgical masks with face shields, fluid resistant gowns and/or isolation gowns and gloves — are listed as critical. Other items are shown to have supplies for one to two weeks, or more than two weeks.

“[It] is so incredibly important for a small state like ours to have the purchasing power” the other states offer, Gov. Carney said.
The states already announced a coordinated effort for reopening in April because “every state is linked to every other state,” Gov. Cuomo noted.

“It’s going to be way harder, the decisions we have to make in reopening our economies in phases than it was shutting things down, in my view, just because of the balance we need to strike there,” Gov. Carney said Sunday. “And we will do that, working together, and with the expertise that this coalition, and the purchasing power in particular of this initiative, bring to the state of Delaware.”

Meanwhile, as of 6 p.m. Saturday, Delaware saw an increase of 170 COVID-19 cases, bringing the state’s total of positive cases to 5,208. The state also saw nine more fatalities, for a total of 177 deaths due to coronavirus, according to the Division of Public Health.

The most recent deaths announced Sunday ranged in age from 33 to 84. Four were female and five were male. Three were New Castle County residents, one was a Kent County resident, and five were Sussex County residents. All nine individuals had underlying health conditions. Five individuals were residents of long-term care facilities.

Hospitalizations, however, are back on the decline after an uptick Saturday. DPH announced 284 hospitalizations — down 16 from Saturday. Of those hospitalized, 61 are listed as critically ill, according to DPH. A total of 1,640 people have recovered, up 94 from the previous day’s report.

Helpful Coronavirus links

Delaware Division of Health Coronavirus Page
CDC: About the Coronavirus Disease 2019
CDC: What to do if You Are Sick
Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
AP News Coronavirus Coverage
Reopening Delaware: Resources for Businesses
Delaware Phase 2 guidance

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