Pennsylvania emergency management officials will be permitted to commandeer N95 face masks, ventilators and other crucial medical equipment for use in the fight against COVID-19 under an order signed Wednesday by Gov. Tom Wolf.
The order requires private and public health care facilities, manufacturers and other companies to tabulate their supplies of personal protective gear, drugs and other medical equipment, and provide an inventory to the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency in five days.
PEMA will make the supplies available to areas of the state hit hardest by the coronavirus outbreak, Wolf’s order said.
“Combatting the pandemic means we all have to work together. That means we need to make the best use of our medical assets to ensure the places that need them the most, have them,” Wolf said at a video news conference.
Providers and companies whose supplies were confiscated will be reimbursed, according to the order.
Several other states, including New York and Minnesota, have also moved to requisition scarce medical supplies.
The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania, a trade group, said a statewide, voluntary mutual aid agreement is already in place to deploy critical supplies where they are needed.
President and CEO Andy Carter said the group will work with the Wolf administration to "ensure that allocation of resources is orderly, effective, and collaborative.”