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August 25, 2020
Contact: HHS Press Office
[email protected]

Trump Administration to Release 1.5 Million N95 Respirators from the Strategic National Stockpile for Distribution to Nursing Homes

Under the leadership of President Trump, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today announced the release of 1.5 million N95 respirators from the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) for distribution to approximately 3,336 nursing home facilities across the United States.

Beginning Aug. 28, 2020, the Defense Logistics Agency will direct shipments of N95 respirators to select nursing homes that recently reported having enough supplies for only zero to three days of operations. These respirators are meant to supplement existing supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) and will provide a seven-day supply for each nursing home to support an entire shift before discarding used products.

“President Trump and Secretary Azar remain fully committed to caring for our nation’s most vulnerable citizens, and that means ensuring nursing homes have the equipment and supplies they need to treat patients safely during the pandemic,” said HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) Robert Kadlec, M.D., who oversees the SNS. “This additional federal supplement of N95 respirators from the SNS will immediately help those nursing homes prevent the spread of COVID-19 and keep the patients they care for safe during this pandemic.”

“Through the use of the Defense Production Act, the federal government has increased the domestic production of N95 respirators and has allowed the SNS to grow,” said Rear Admiral John Polowczyk, HHS Supply Chain Task Force lead. “This increase has allowed us to use our existing surge-capacity built up in the stockpile to distribute 1.5 million masks to meet the needs of front-line healthcare workers caring for one of our most-affected populations. Our goal is to enable our states to provide longer term support in the fight against COVID-19.”

Certified by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), these N95 respirators are produced by O&M Halyard and made in the United States. Each shipment will contain a 4:1 mix of size regular and small respirators as validated by historical distribution ratios from the medical distributors.

The quantity of respirators distributed to each nursing home will be based on the number of medical staff employed at the facility, as reported to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services database. Each state’s governor was notified of the pending shipments during the Vice President’s call with governors on Aug. 18, 2020. 

These shipments support only Medicare and Medicaid-approved nursing homes and are in addition to prior shipments of PPE distributed in order to safeguard our most vulnerable populations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

About HHS, ASPR, and the Strategic National Stockpile:

HHS works to enhance and protect the health and well-being of all Americans, providing for effective health and human services and fostering advances in medicine, public health, and social services. The mission of ASPR is to save lives and protect Americans from 21st century health security threats. Within ASPR, the Strategic National Stockpile supplements state and local supplies during public health emergencies. The supplies, medicines, and devices for life-saving care contained in the stockpile can be used as a short-term, stopgap buffer when supplies may not be immediately available or sufficient. To learn more about federal support for the nationwide COVID-19 response, visit coronavirus.gov.

Note: All HHS press releases, fact sheets and other news materials are available at https://www.hhs.gov/news.
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Last revised: August 25, 2020

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