The State is ensuring the supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) to businesses and essential workers. We have partnered with private industry to increase local production of PPE.
On this page you will find:
How to get PPE
There are two ways the state can help you get PPE:
- You can buy PPE from a merchant listed in the Safely Making California marketplace, or
- You can request PPE from the state directly.
To buy PPE
Visit Safely Making California. This is a PPE marketplace created by the California Manufacturers & Technology Association. There you can find where to buy:
- Face masks
- Face shields
- Plexiglass partitions
To request PPE from the state
If you’re an employer of essential workers, you can request PPE from the state.
The State is distributing masks and PPE to front line workers to limit the spread of COVID-19. It’s the state’s priority to ensure the safety of theseessential workers.
Preserving masks and PPE
If PPE is required as part of routine duties performed by essential workers:
- Extend use times of undamaged, not visibly soiled PPE
- Put in place expanded facility-based PPE reuse policies
- Use CDC strategies to optimize the supply of PPE
- Practice decontamination and reuse strategies for filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs)
- Understand PPE requirements and track burn rate. Use CDC’s PPE burn rate calculator if needed
- Use alternative types or sources of PPE to support necessary operations
- Use NIOSH-approved respiratory protection that was not approved before by the FDA
- Check FDA and OSHA for updates on enforcement and Emergency Use Authorizations
- Read NIOSH guidance on conserving FFRs in non-healthcare worksites
If PPE is not required as part of routine duties performed by essential workers:
- Reduce exposure by adding
- Barrier controls like Plexiglass barriers, improved ventilation systems
- Safe-work practices, such as adjusting business operations to increase physical space between employees
- Read Guidance for Businesses and Employers Responding to Coronavirus Disease 2019
- Do not attempt to get medical or industrial use PPE for non-essential workers. Such PPE is required for higher priority functions. Surgical masks and N95 respirators are critical supplies reserved for healthcare workers.
- Instead, use simple cloth face masks. Everyone must wear a mask or face covering when outside their home. Exceptions are limited.
- If you cannot buy cloth face masks, you can make them from common materials at low cost. Follow CDC guidance on how to make and use cloth face masks.
Acquiring PPE during shortages
If you’ve used these strategies to reduce the need for PPE, but you still need to order more, you should:
- Continue working with private sector suppliers to source PPE. You may need to find many suppliers and focus on near-term versus long-term needs.
- If suppliers can’t send PPE, and your need is urgent, request it from your county. Contact your county’s emergency management or public health department.
- If your county can’t send PPE, they will contact the State Operations Center.
- If the state can’t send PPE, it will contact the FEMA Regional Response Coordination Center.
The process for ordering masks and other supplies from the state works as follows:
Face covering distribution process
The first priority of essential employers is to ensure that employees have PPE to safely perform their duties. The employer has primary responsibility for the procurement and distribution of emergency PPE. When demand exceeds supply, they should contact their county or operational area.
Local government/county level
The first priority of local government is to ensure localessential workers have PPE to slow the spread of COVID-19. The local government handles buying and distributing emergency PPE in their area. When demand exceeds supply, they should contact the emergency operations in their region.
When the region can’t meet the demand for PPE, they will contact the State for help.
Cal OES will provide support and PPE resources to field level operations. These operations may need more PPE than the State can supply. In that case, Cal OES may request it from FEMA, EMAC, public/private partnerships, or other sources.