Sununu says state still working to stockpile PPE for health care workers

CONCORD, N.H. (WCAX) New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu says the state is comfortable with their stockpile of personal protective equipment but they still want more.

Sununu says the state received three significant shipments from the federal government and distributed most of those supplies to health care providers, holding onto some in case of critical need in the future.

The state also expects the arrival of a number of commercial purchases of PPE.

Sununu says the state has been put in the position of being a backstop for PPE for health care organizations across the state.

"I think the team has done very well considering the fact that every hospital, every health care facility, every municipal and state and country government on the planet is fighting for the same resources. I mean, think about that. Everyone is fighting for the exact same resources with the exact same manufacturers. So, competition is absolutely unprecedented," said Sununu, R-New Hampshire.

State officials also say they're working on a number of plans to address the potential shortage of health care workers, calling professionals out of retirement and accelerating licensing for medical students.

The governor also extended some emergency orders in the state for an additional three weeks. That means restaurants must continue to be carryout or delivery only and people can't gather in groups of 10 or more. These orders and a number of others in the state remain in effect until May 4.

As of Sunday, nearly 670 people have tested positive for the virus in New Hampshire and nine people have died.

Meanwhile, New Hampshire's state-run highway rest stops and welcome centers are closed, part of the latest efforts by state officials to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The rest area closures started Sunday evening. About 30 rest stop workers will be temporarily reassigned to the state's liquor and wine outlets, according to the state Department of Business and Economic Affairs.