Vermont faces shortage of critical protective equipment

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) WCAX News has learned that Vermont is experiencing a shortage of critical equipment needed to fight the spread of COVID-19.

Friday afternoon, the Health Department notified all providers in Vermont about a shortage of personal protective equipment.

We are low on several items but the three most concerning are N95 respirator masks, eye protection and disposable gowns. There are two reasons: most of those things come from China where factories are closed and there is an increased demand because of the coronavirus.

The Health Department tells us their suppliers are backlogged and won't be able to fill orders until June.

It's important to note we are not out. The state is releasing masks, eye protection and gowns from its emergency stockpile. And the federal government has approved Vermont's request to send more from its strategic national stockpile, so the state's emergency supplies can be restocked.