Free PPE offered to qualifying groups

HONOLULU — The Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency will be launching a website for independent medical and dental practices, small groups, small hospitals, small businesses and nonprofits to get free personal protective equipment, according to email information sent by the Kaua‘i Chamber of Commerce.

There are 12 items available, and there is a prioritization list of which organizations have access to which supplies and how many are available. Shipments directly to the organization participating take between two and three months to receive for bulk orders. During the interim, each organization will be sent supplies that are already in-state while they wait for their orders.

“The website will enhance HI-EMA’s ability to provide more help to the community as COVID-19 case counts continue to rise and hospitals struggle to avoid surge capacity,” said HI-EMA Administrator Luke Meyers.

“From an emergency-management perspective, we are rising to the challenge of supporting our medical facilities, small businesses and nonprofits with the essential protective equipment they need to stay safe during these unprecedented times.”

The state COVID-19 PPE Distribution Program is an initiative created by Act 9 (SB126) of the 2020 state legislative session to purchase and distribute — at no cost — critical PPE to specific recipients to assist them in maintaining their critical facilities and businesses during the COVID emergency. This is funded through Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding.

Eligible groups include public-facing small businesses based in Hawai‘i with less than 100 employees prior to COVID. Examples include retail stores, restaurants, accommodations, small manufacturing, transportation and home-care agencies.

PPE items available to the qualifying groups include reusable cloth masks, hand sanitizer, face shields and other materials based on need.

Each organization shall register, attest to qualification requirements, provide Hawai‘i-specific license numbers and the size of their staff and customers. Once confirmed to be a Hawai‘i organization that qualifies under this program, they will be provided access to the ordering website, hawaii-medical-alliance.myshopify.com/.

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.

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