UPS works with FEMA for shipments of masks, gloves

With masks, gowns and other protective gear for health care workers in very short supply, hospitals have been asked to postpone elective, non-essential procedures. Hospitals want to use N95 masks, which block at least 95% of very small particles, for use with coronavirus infections.

UPS is expanding its work to ship critical medical supplies to hospitals and health care providers across the country.

The Sandy Springs-based shipping giant is working closely with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to distribute N95 masks and gloves for healthcare workers.

As part of the collaboration, FEMA will have access to UPS's massive air hub in Louisville, Ky., to stage shipments from overseas.

The company is working with President Donald Trump's coronavirus task force and state health agencies. UPS has a healthcare supply chain unit that can handle specialized shipments such as temperature-sensitive items.

“UPS Healthcare has the expertise and experience to move vital, life-saving medicines, medical devices, diagnostic specimens and supplies everywhere they are needed,” UPS CEO David Abney said in a written statement.

Working with Pharmatech, UPS shipped its first 10,000 coronavirus test kits Monday and said it would ramp up to ship 20,000 kits every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

UPS is also working with testing firm LetsGetChecked to distribute 50,000 test kits a day, and is helping another testing firm, Everlywell, to distribute test kits to healthcare facilities.

And UPS said it is working with medical supplies distributor Henry Schein to distribute personal protective equipment to medical professionals and drive-through testing facilities. And it is helping healthcare distributor McKesson by delivering shipments of personal protective equipment to military bases where people are under quarantine.

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