Cloth Face Coverings
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.
AHCA/NCAL Guidance on Conserving and Extending Use of Current PPE
Dr. Gifford, Chief Medical Officer of the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL), recently said that, due to the limited amount of available PPE and the need far exceeding the supply, nursing facility and assisted living members need to realize the amount of PPE they have on hand right now and any additional items they are able to obtain will need to last the facility for the next four to six weeks.
As guidance, Dr. Gifford referred members to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Strategies for Optimizing the Supply of PPE. Specific guidance for facemasks, gowns, and eye protection is available.
Local Health Departments
On Thursday, March 26, 2020, Governor Ricketts directed health care providers to immediately contact their local health department to request any needed Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Local health departments are currently assessing the need for PPE in their areas and will then be notifying the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), who will compile the statewide PPE need and submit a request to the federal government for PPE from the Strategic National Stockpile.
To find contact information for your local health department, visit the DHHS website.
Local Health Care Coalitions
The Nebraska Health Care Association has also heard that some local health care coalitions have a supply of PPE. Contact your local health care coalition and request any needed PPE.
To find contact information for your local health care coalition, click here.
Alert Local Emergency Manager of PPE Need
You may also want to contact your local emergency manager to alert him/her of your need for additional PPE.
To find contact information for your local emergency manager, click here.
NHCA also recommends documenting your efforts to obtain PPE, should surveyors have questions.