Colorado orders millions of medical supplies to fight COVID-19

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CENTENNIAL, Colo. (KDVR) — Colorado has placed orders for millions of pieces of medical equipment, including N-95 masks and ventilators, Gov. Jared Polis said Wednesday.

The order includes:

  • 2.5 million N-95 masks
  • 1 million surgical masks
  • 250,000 gowns
  • 25,000 face shields
  • 1.5 million gloves
  • 750 ventilators

“At this point in the crisis, personal protection equipment equals lives. Ventilators equals lives,” Polis said.

Colorado certainly isn’t the only state ordering the much-needed medical supplies. Most other states are, along with private companies and other countries. Plus, the White House just ordered 22 flights full of tons of equipment.

“What may be more complex right now than finding vendors, is finding vendors who actually have supply on their hands or the ability to fulfill the order you’re trying to put in,” said University of Denver Associate Professor of Management Douglas Allen.

Allen, who has traveled to China dozens of times and is familiar with the country’s factories, said they typically produce high-quality products and the Chinese government has its own standards for equipment. Polis said most of it will be tested at Colorado State University before it’s sent to healthcare facilities.

Besides the quality of the medical gear, another question is how and how quickly all of it will get to Colorado.

“I’m sure its more complex than usual because some of the supply chains have been disrupted,” Allen said.

Last year, more than half of the cargo shipped worldwide traveled in passenger planes. Most of them are now grounded, making it even harder for the medical supplies to get to their destinations.

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