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The State of PPE in Idaho and Beyond (August 2020)

As we continue with the import and distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other medical supplies into the United States, we see trends, research, and other helpful information we’d like to pass along to our communities and clients as they make purchasing decisions.

Here are our latest updates on the state of PPE for August 2020.

Idaho Goes Back to School

Around the nation and in many Idaho school districts, students are beginning the fall semester — although classes look a bit different than in years past. Some schools are re-opening for in-person instruction, others are beginning the year fully online, and still others are adopting a hybrid model. To strengthen reopening efforts, the Coronavirus Financial Advisory Committee approved $50 million for COVID-19 testing in Idaho and PPE for public schools. Many states continue seeking PPE for these purposes, as well.

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Advancements in Science and Technology

Organizations continue to prioritize advancements in technology that can improve the efficacy and convenience of PPE. For example, reusable, air-filtering CX9 and X7 masks have been launched. Additionally, a vaccine has been fast-tracked in Russia, although it has not yet been heavily tested. Trials are to move forward with 40,000 people next week. The World Health Organization (WHO) is in talks with the country to obtain more information.

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What to do With Used PPE?

As significant amounts of PPE are ordered, used, and discarded, there are growing concerns about the negative impacts of this waste. Not only can used PPE pose a contamination risk to others, it presents a danger to the environment, especially when improperly disposed of. Tackling this waste may prove to be a long-term battle. Additionally, a promising new (peer-reviewed) COVID-19 study shows disposed PPE could be turned into renewable liquid fuels.

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