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EH&S Message on PPE and Face Coverings

Email sent June 9:

Hello Campus Procurement and Purchasing groups,

As campus Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S), we have received many questions about the procurement process of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and face coverings as the campus slowly ramps up.  The following outlines the role of EH&S in the procurement and distribution of PPE during this time:

Processes to remain the same:

EH&S will continue to distribute PPE, such as lab coats and safety eyewear, which are prescribed through the Laboratory Hazard Assessment Tool (LHAT) system.  Questions regarding the LHAT system can be directed to ehslaboratory@ucr.edu . Departments ordering other PPE such as gloves can be purchased through regular eBuy channels.

Interim Processes during COVID-19 pandemic:

Face coverings to meet public health and campus requirements will be provided by EH&S. Information on face coverings, including how to request from EH&S, is availablehere.  The EH&S contact information regarding face coverings is EHSPublicHealth@ucr.edu.  The purchase of disinfectants and cleaning supplies is being handled through Facilities Services, additional information on the distribution process will be communicated in a separate announcement.

For medical supplies such as surgical masks and N95 respirators, EH&S and campus Procurement will manage the campus allocations from our medical suppliers, Medline and McKesson. The procurement of these items is currently strained by the COVID-19 outbreak, with limited resources available. In order to meet the needs of our campus, the following guidelines have been developed:

·        Medical PPE is reserved as first priority for our medical providers, such as Student Health Services and UCR Health, and first responders.

·        Additional allocations will be prioritized based on essential activities such as COVID testing, fulfillment of emergency PPE stockpile, patient interactions, and animal care.

·        N95 respirators and surgical masks are not available to purchase for meeting public health and campus face covering requirements.

Once medical supply needs are fulfilled, any additional available surgical masks or N95s from our campus medical PPE allocation may be available to the campus. For non-medical groups, the following is the process to procure these items:

For surgical masks:

·        Surgical masks may be available from nonmedical suppliers on eBuy, but could have long lead times.  If you do not have an urgent need and can plan purchases several months out from a nonmedical supplier on eBuy, please do so.

·        If supplies are not available, please fill out the following form to notify EH&S of your intent to purchase from our medical allocation.

For N95 respirators:

·        Due to constraints in supply for health care workers and first responders, N95 respirator purchasing should be limited only to areas with a verified occupational health need, rather than any voluntary uses.

·        By requirements of Cal/OSHA, users of N95 respirators are required to be fit tested annually by EH&S Industrial Hygiene before use.  This requirement will be verified by EH&S before N95 respirators can be purchased.  Information about the fit testing process is available here.

·        If N95 respirators are needed for your work, please have the PI/supervisor fill out the following form to notify EH&S of your intent to purchase from our medical allocation.

Direct the forms and any questions regarding the EH&S allocation and distribution of surgical masks and N95 respirators to Patrick Monnig at EH&S:patrick.monnig@ucr.edu.  Please note that the turnaround time from when these allocations are available, to making final purchase, could be as short as 24 hours.  Notifying us with this form will give EH&S time to verify the PPE needs and fit testing records, coordinate between multiple groups, and ensure that we can get the information to you with enough time to make purchase decisions.

Thank you for your support and understanding.