Vermont has asked the Federal Federal Emergency Management Agency for 600 additional ventilators to respond to a potential surge in severe coronavirus cases.
The state Emergency Operations Center says Vermont currently has 208 ventilators to help treat the sickest COVID-19 patients. The state is asking FEMA for 600 more, but no states have been told not to expect any orders to be filled until their ventilator supplies are expected to run out within 72 hours.
Meanwhile, the state is buying roughly 452 ventilators from more than half dozen sources. About 50 have arrived or are on their way, the EOC says. The department says “global supply chain challenges” make the arrival dates for tho other units hard to predict. known.
On Monday, Gov. Phil Scott said Vermonters need to prepare for what could be a bleak time over the next few weeks as the state continues efforts to control the outbreak, but there are glimmers of hope. Scott and other officials said the evidence shows that people staying home is having the desired effect. As of Monday, almost 550 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Vermont, and 23 people have died.
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Health officials say current projections for other supplies, such as masks, surgical gowns and gloves, could be exhausted in the coming weeks if the outbreak takes a turn for the worst. However, internal models released last week show that under the “best and most likely scenarios,” the state should have adequate supplies.
Officials say the state has spent more than $20 million on equipment and supplies in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
Since mid-March, the state has taken shipments of more than 128,000 N95 respirators; about 158,000 pairs of gloves and nearly 316,000 surgical masks. Last week, Mike Smith, secretary of the Vermont Agency of Human Services Secretary Mike Smith, said the state has 1.9 million pairs of gloves and 283,000 N95 respirators.
The EOC said the state has been sourcing PPE in collaboration with hospitals and clinicians. As of April 4, the state has placed orders for more than 3.7 million items, primarily masks, from 10 vendors.