DHS expects shortages of PPE to continue

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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- As the numbers continue to rise, so does the need for materials to handle this global pandemic right here at home.

In order to assist with the growing demand for patient care, personal protective equipment (PPE) is needed. PPE is equipment worn to minimize exposure to the virus. Things like masks, gloves and face shields.

Wisconsin has received PPE from the Federal Strategic National Stockpile. This includes more than 104,000 N95 respirators, more than 260,000 surgical masks, 48,000 face shields and 140,000 pairs of gloves.

The DHS says it simply isn’t enough. "This PPE will help protect our medical professionals as they do their important work of treating COVID-19 patients who need care however what we have received from the stockpile barely begins to meet the need or the request of the Wisconsin healthcare system," said DHS Secretary-Designee Andrea Palm.

DHS is still processing PPE made available through the state's buy back and donation program. Officials say the need goes beyond the healthcare system, law enforcement officials also rely on the state for these materials.