COVID-19 has increased the surge of N95 respirators in the global market. The manufacturers fell short of the production because of this increased demand. Many manufacturers and sellers played their role to control this situation and helped medical institutions to buy an adequate number of PPE for the medical professionals. Bergen County is one of those areas in the United States, which took initiatives to support their healthcare professionals with proper protective gear so that they can combat COVID-19 with safety. How was the bulk purchase in the midst of the shortage? What were the challenges? Let’s dig deeper into the matter so that you can get a clear picture.
Bergen County and Bergen New Bridge Medical Center recently made a bulk purchase of 110,000 N95 respirators from city-based Protective Health Gear (PHG) in a nod to the role of Paterson in the war against COVID-19. The masks would help them preserve local personal protective equipment (PPE) stockpiles in Bergen County, officials said.
As previously reported by TAPinto Paterson, the company changed gears earlier this fall with the continuing demand for PPE from making "high-end retail store fixtures and displays" to manufacturing safety devices for hospitals and local governments.
Now that the nation is entering the flu season and facing a possible second wave of coronavirus, PHG, which is the first New Jersey manufacturer to obtain federal permission to make masks under the public health emergency, has manufactured upwards of 50,000 N95 respirators daily.
Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco reports that Protective Health Gear, a local manufacturing company located in Paterson, New Jersey, recently made a joint bulk purchase of 110,000 NIOSH licenced N95 respirators from the County of Bergen and Bergen New Bridge Medical Center. Their manufacturing factory that typically manufactures "high end retail store fixtures and displays" initially shut down due to the pandemic but retooled to start producing PPE to supply frontline employees. Then, Safe Health Gear became the first company in New Jersey to gain federal NIOSH clearance under the public health emergency in early September 2020 to manufacture N95 filtering face-piece respirators.
As hospitals and local governments continue to combat the pandemic and brace for a possible second increase in COVID-19 cases this fall, the demand for personal protective equipment, especially the highly coveted NIOSH approved N95 respirator, remains strong. The County of Bergen 's Buying Division has worked around the clock to maintain an inventory of PPE since the start of the pandemic.
Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco describes the significance of this acquisition that my administration has taken steps to acquire the largest stockpile of PPE in the State of New Jersey since the outbreak of the global health crisis to ensure that those on the frontline have the necessary resources to defend themselves, said County Executive Tedesco. But overnight, this didn't happen. One of the earliest difficulties they faced, even with the vast buying power of the county, was seeking vendors who could quickly turn around bulk PPE orders. It is comforting that they now have a line just a few miles away from a local manufacturer that manufactures N95 masks.
County officials stressed that as hospitals and local governments continue to combat the pandemic and prepare for a possible second increase in COVID-19 cases this fall, the demand for personal protective equipment, especially the highly coveted NIOSH approved N95 respirator, remains strong.
Bergen New Bridge Medical Center President and CEO Deborah Visconi shared a similar sentiment that planning, including getting PPE ready, is important as they continue to wage the war against COVID-19. With an increase in COVID-19 cases and the start of the flu season, the next few months may be difficult. It's a game changer to have a local partner who can manufacture and supply N95 masks. Deborah Visconi, President and CEO of Bergen New Bridge Medical Center, said that they are grateful to the County and their County Executive for their committed efforts to ensure that the healthcare workers have everything they need to safely care for the communities.
Protective Health Gear's manufacturing plant, which usually manufactures high-end retail store fixtures and displays, initially shut down due to the pandemic, according to Tedesco, then retooled to start producing PPE to supply frontline employees. However, it became the first company in New Jersey to gain federal NIOSH clearance under the public health emergency at the beginning of Sept. 2020 to generate N95 filtering face-piece respirators.
For them, this has been a long but exciting phase, said Brian Wolin, Protective Health Gear's CEO. They are proud to be the first company to earn NIOSH approval in New Jersey under the public health emergency to manufacture face-piece respirators that come with N95 filter . They are in the business of helping their neighbours, so with the County of Bergen and Bergen New Bridge Medical Center, the biggest public hospital in the state, it was their honour to promote this purchase.
As they work together to win the fight against COVID-19, they look forward to a continued relationship.
The ongoing infection with Coronavirus and the risk of extreme spikes as we reach the flu season highlights the importance of wearing a stockpile of masks and respirators, Freeholder Chairwoman Mary Amoroso said. They are so happy that operations have been retooled by a local manufacturer to give us another outlet for frontline jobs.