Legislation to Set PPE Supply Requirements Signed into Law
Trenton – In response to the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) in health care facilities across the state during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Governor today signed into law legislation sponsored by Senators Patrick Diegnan, Vin Gopal and Joseph Vitale that will ensure health facilities have PPE readily available in the event of a future public health emergency.
The law, S-2566/2677, will require long-term care facilities and hospitals to maintain a minimum supply of PPE at all times.
“This is an important piece of legislation,” said Senator Diegnan (D-Middlesex). “In future crises, this law will prevent the disproportionate amount of deaths that occurred in long-term care facilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This law will assure that our nursing homes have the necessary PPE to protect the lives of their elderly residents.”
Under the law, a nursing home will be required to maintain a supply of PPE that is sufficient to last 30 or 60 days, depending on if the facility is part of a larger system. Hospitals will be required to have a minimum supply that would last 90 days.
“Going into the pandemic, it was expected that the death rate for the virus would be the highest among older, more vulnerable populations,” said Senator Gopal (D-Monmouth). “And yet, there was still not enough protections put in place for these populations, putting them more at risk for infection. I am thankful that the Governor signed off on this bill and going forward, we will be better prepared for a public health crisis.”
“Many facilities suffered from a lack of PPE due to inflated prices and international supply shortages,” said Senator Vitale (D-Middlesex), Chair of the Senate Health Committee. “We understand this difficulty, so we have assembled a PPE Wholesale Supplier Registry Public Listing. Now that this legislation is law, our hope is that nursing homes and hospitals will have an easier time locating the supplies they need in times of crises.”