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HI-EMA taking requests for free personal protective equipment

The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency said it has begun shipping the initial round of free personal protective equipment available under its new program, and that more are available.

The distribution program is funded by $61 million in federal coronavirus relief funds.

“We received over 1,800 online orders since we launched at the beginning of the month and we are now ready to start shipping this free PPE on a rolling basis,” said HI-EMA Administrator Luke Meyers in a news release. “We thank our industry partners and trade groups for helping us to get the initial word out. We want the public to know we have available inventory and we urge qualified recipients to put in their orders as soon as possible.”

Many of the initial shipments are to small businesses and independent medical providers such as doctors and dentists, according to HI-EMA, but orders are still being accepted through Nov. 15.

Qualified recipients of free PPE can apply at this link. HI-EMA anticipates it will continue shipping PPE through the end of the year.

HI-EMA says to date, it has purchased over 453,000 cloth masks from local sources, including T&L Muumuu Factory, Tropical Js, Tori Richard, Cintas and Hawaii Correctional Industries.

In addition, it has ordered roughly 820,000 face shields from Kamanu Composites, a canoe business in Kailua that has shifted to the production of face shields due to COVID-19. Kamanu now intends to hire 25 to 40 new employees for its last two months of production.

Qualified recipients include:

>> Independent medical providers, including small hospitals, community health centers, clinics, doctors, dentists, labs, pharmacies, therapists, blood and plasma banks and dialysis centers​;

>> Child care providers, including Department of Human Services licensed or registered child care providers such as family child care homes, group child care centers and homes, infant and toddler child care centers, and before and after school care programs​;

>> Eldercare facilities, including Department of Health licensed or registered facilities that provide care for the elderly such as adult residential care homes, assisted living facilities, community care foster homes, and adult day care centers​);

>> Small businesses that are for-profit corporations, limited liability companies, partnerships, and others domiciled and authorized to do business in Hawaii with an average of less than 100 full- or part-time employees prior to March 1, 2020;

>> Nonprofit organizations domiciled and authorized to do business in Hawaii;

>> Hospitals that are part of the Hawaii Healthcare Emergency Management Coalition​; ​

>> Schools, including state Department of Education public schools, public charter schools and the University of Hawaii system.

Questions regarding HI-EMA’s PPE distribution process can be directed to ESF7.HIEMA@hawaii.gov.

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