The Get Us PPE Shortage Index is the largest non-government source of data about needs for personal protective equipment (PPE), such as masks and gloves, in the U.S., based on PPE requests received by our organization. Each month, we’ll share key takeaways from our findings and how you can help get PPE to those most in need.
September Get Us PPE Shortage Index Findings
As the coronavirus continues to sweep through the White House, it’s clear that despite frequent testing and having a wealth of resources at hand, masks still matter for everyone. This is a timely reminder as the U.S. heads to the polls, goes back to school, and fends off wildfires, that the country still faces significant PPE shortages. According to new data from the September PPE Shortage Index, PPE requests are increasing again in some states. The Index also shows new requests for PPE ranging from masks to disinfecting wipes coming from nearly every state, illustrating that there is still urgent and widespread need.
Key Takeaways from the September Get Us PPE Shortage Index
- The United States is still facing serious PPE shortages, with new requests last month from nearly every state.
- 80% of facilities reported having no supply left of one or more types of PPE, up from 77% in August.
- While large hospital systems continue to benefit from a recovering PPE supply chain, smaller, non-hospital facilities are still facing acute PPE shortages. 90% of our September requests came from facilities such as nursing homes, homeless shelters, physician’s offices, health clinics, and other frontline non-hospital facilities.
- Schools across the country do not have sufficient PPE to keep students and staff safe.
Get Us PPE has now donated more than 2,750,000 units of PPE to frontline facilities and healthcare workers, but we still have requests for over 21,500,000 million units of PPE, just to fulfill one week’s worth of need. The PPE crisis is urgent and ongoing. The most requested items nationally are N95 respirators, disinfecting wipes, and surgical masks.
Get Us PPE Founder Dr. Megan Ranney, a frontline emergency physician, reminded us in an NBC editorial that despite pandemic fatigue, “America must continue to follow the other basic public health strategies that make up for lack of testing accuracy: masking, limiting interactions to small groups, staying outdoors whenever possible, and physical distancing. No one of these is, alone, sufficient to keep us safe,” she said.
Schools Struggle to Fulfill PPE Supply Needs
Concerningly, the September PPE Shortage Index shows that many schools across the U.S. do not have enough PPE to protect students and staff.
The data was based on a survey distributed by Get Us PPE to school nurses, teachers and administrators to learn more about their school or district’s current PPE needs. Public schools made up 84% of respondents.
Respondents also provided testimonials. A certified school nurse in Pennsylvania wrote that school nurses, who are frontline workers, are no farther along in obtaining PPE than traditional workers were back in March: “I feel very stuck, unprotected, and uncared for as a person and as a healthcare professional. PPE is disposable, our lives are not!”
The PPE items most requested by our survey respondents were single-use masks, transparent partitions, and hand sanitizer. Donate to the PPE for Schools Fund to help schools in need receive this essential equipment.
View the September Get PPE Shortage Index