Gallatin County PPE supply sees 'substantial' growth since arrival of COVID-19

Posted at 8:38 AM, Apr 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-25 11:35:52-04

BOZEMAN — Aside from the reopening preparations, the Gallatin City-County Board of Health also talked about some optimistic news, a growing cache of PPE for healthcare workers.

Health officer Matt Kelley took the board back along the COVID-19 timeline in Gallatin County, saying how when it began the county did not have a local supply of PPE.

Kelley says the health department was told that the strategic national stockpile had everything they would need.

Since then, health officials have amassed more than 6,000 surgical masks, at least 250 face shields, 6,000 pairs of gloves and have ordered an additional 20,000 N95 masks.

Kelley adds that the department is also training nurses ahead of time, as back-up, and increasing environmental health staff.

That staff will make up the “Medical Reserve Corps.”

“We believe we can handle on an ongoing basis 18 new cases a day if those number of cases came everyday,” Kelley says. “We are planning to add Medical Reserve Corps part-time staffing to allow us to surge even higher than that.”

Kelley did say that while the PPE cache has grown, the supply chain is stressed.