JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Governor Mike Parson has redirected $18 million from the budgets of small departments to pay for personal protective equipment (PPE).
The three main departments that were redirected were the Department of Social Services, Department of Health and Senior Services and the Department of Public Safety, especially the state emergency management agency.
As of 2 p.m. Tuesday, March 24, Public Safety Director Sandy Karsten said they have ordered $17.3 million worth of personal protective equipment. The single most requested item is N95 respirators. In response, she said they have purchased more than 4.2 million N95 respirators at a cost of $10 million.
They are also working to acquire other personal protective equipment. At last count, the SEMA staff has placed orders for:
- 61,000 safety goggles
- 95,000 three-layer surgical masks
- Over 7,400 surgical gowns
- Over 335,000 bottles of hand sanitizer and many more PPE items.
They are also working to acquire to PPE from FEMA, through a direct federal assistance request, and through the federal emergency management agency. Also asking emergency response partners to acquire PPE items themselves.
Director of Health and Senior Services, Dr. Randall Williams, also said Missouri has 28 mobile testing sites with more on the way.