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May 03, 2020

Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware join regional supply chain for PPE, other medical equipment

Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island are also part of the multi-state partnership.

Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware are joining a multi-state partnership to streamline the accumulation of PPE, medical equipment, and testing supplies on a regional basis. 

The governors of all seven states—which also includes Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island—announced the initiative to develop a regional supply chain on Sunday.

The agreement will allow states to better identify the needs of the region, aggregate demand for PPE, medical equipment, and testing supplies among the states, and reduce costs of acquiring said necessities. 

It will also allow for more efficient delivery and reliability of PPE and medical equipment for states, as the goal of the initiative is to limit potential disruptions in the PPE, medical equipment, and testing supply chain across the region, the governors said.

“By working together we can combine our strengths to build the capacities we all need,” Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf said. “We can exploit our market size to encourage producers to make what we need, we can exploit our financial strength to give that encouragement added weight, and we can exploit the great research institutions and the brainpower in our region to increase our chances of success. I look forward to working with my fellow governors—and my neighbors-to build a strong regional supply chain.”

The states will be responsible for coordinating policies over each state’s PPE inventory for its respective healthcare systems, what local governments need to have in supply for first responders, and if there are necessary requirements for the private and non-profit sectors. 

The partnership also calls on the states to identify suppliers who can meet the demands of the region over the next three months, the governors said.

“Our states should never be in a position where we are actively competing against each other for life-saving resources,” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said. “By working together across the region, we can obtain critical supplies as we begin the process to restart our economies, while also saving money for our taxpayers. This concept is at the heart of the regional approach we’ve established.”

“We need a consistent approach for moving our states out of this crisis, and that includes ensuring a sufficient supply of PPE and tests,” Delaware Gov. John Carney said. “I’m thankful for this coordination with my fellow Governors in the region. We’ll be better positioned to continue tackling this crisis working together with the states around us.”

The announcement comes after the same seven states formed a regional council on April 13 to develop a plan for reopening the economy after the COVID-19 pandemic has passed. 

The 21-person panel, consisting of three representatives from each state, is responsible for considering options for reopening the regional economy that adhere to public health concerns and minimize the risk of spreading the coronavirus. Economic, social, and scientific data will drive the economic decisions that are made, the governors said.

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