Nodaway County Emergency Manager Christy Forney spoke recently about the Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) supply available for first responder agencies and healthcare personnel in the county.

She noted that currently the supply is good.

“However, should we see a spike in cases or become a hot spot for the virus, our current supply would diminish quickly,” said Forney.

She continued by noting the N95 masks do have an expiration date, as do Tyvek suits, gloves, etc.

“To my knowledge, law enforcement and fire services have not received any PPE from the Strategic National Stockpile to date,” said Forney.

The PPE for those responder agencies may be requested through the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA). She said SEMA is currently trying to procure the PPE through manufacturers and private channels. It is her understanding that it may take six to 12 weeks to receive it. Missouri has received permission to use the Battelle Decontamination System, which the county healthcare personnel could use should a need to re-use masks arises. Forney has requested additional PPE kits for law enforcement and fire services a few weeks ago. Some for the firefighters have arrived.

Nodaway County Health Department Administrator Tom Patterson reported he has been supplying his employees with masks and gloves , however, he cannot provide for any clients that come to the health department office. Currently he has about two weeks’ supply. He is hoping the state will provide PPE within this critical time.

Nodaway County Sheriff Randy Strong had tried to order masks through the national stockpile but it was determined the masks were made in China. His order was not fulfilled. He is utilizing the Ferluknat Farms’ Sew Strong Together intiative in Maryville for his deputies to have masks.

Nodaway County Ambulance District Director Bill Florea said the district has an ample amount of N95 masks due to utilizing the district’s past inventory. Other surgical-type masks are on order currently and Florea expects it could take one to three months. The district is using approximately 15 per day for patients and personnel. Aprons, gowns and regular masks needed are also on order. Required gloves are a longer variety than the normal gloves the district’s personnel uses.

Florea told he has one new ventilator and each of the ambulances is fitted with a ventilator. Filters are required. He is anticipating the arrival of a ultraviolet light mid-month that will allow for the entire ambulance or the office to be wiped. Masks will be sanitized 10 times before discarding.

Mosaic Medical Center – Maryville President Nate Blackford reported the hospital’s “PPE supply remains strong to support our caregivers, patients and community. Mosaic Medical Centers continue to work very closely together to make sure supplies are managed effectively and are ready to address our COVID-19 response.”

“We have a robust supply strategy across many vendors to ensure the stream of supplies remains steady,” said Blackford. “Two other factors helped us to be in a strong supply situation. One, we are fortunate in our area to have had the time to plan and prepare for COVID-19 before the virus arrived in the Midwest, and our community is successfully flattening the curve and following best practices to prevent COVID-19.”