The federal Department of Health and Human Services will be sending 1,000 ventilators and other personal protective equipment to help Massachusetts prepare for a surge in COVID-19 patients, Gov. Charlie Baker announced Monday.
Along with the ventilators, the state will be receiving around 130,000 N-95 masks and 128,000 pairs of gloves to distribute to medical workers on the front lines.
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The announcement came a day after Baker’s office announced the establishment of a PPE procurement and donation program online through the state website.
The ventilators are expected to arrive by first the week of April, according to the governor. The masks and gloves arrived over the weekend.
"You don't have a confirmed order until it actually shows up," he said.
Baker projected that soon after that arrival hospitals in Mass. could expect a surge in COVID-19 patients, starting sometime between April 7 and 14.
In addition to the additional PPE and ventilators, Baker said the state will open new health care facilities specially designed to treat older adults with COVID-19, part of the state's preparation for a forthcoming surge in cases.
State officials hope to bring about 1,000 skilled nursing facility beds online for seniors afflicted by the highly contagious coronavirus. One facility in Worcester should have 150 beds up and running by Thursday, said Baker, who said such converted facilities could be opened up in a "bunch of different areas."
Local companies have begun working with the administration to supplement production of masks and other important gear, Baker said. In another new state effort, about 1,800 people have registered to volunteer their medical expertise to assist response to the growing outbreak, he said
With reporting by State House News Service reporter Chris Lisinski.