ctnewsjunkie file photo
Josh Geballe, chief operating officer and commissioner of the Department of Administrative Services (ctnewsjunkie file photo)

HARTFORD, CT —The state still doesn’t have the supply of Personal Protective Equipment or PPE it needs which is why Gov. Ned Lamont signed an executive order Tuesday suspending contracting requirements.

Lamont signed an executive order that temporarily waives certain requirements related to state contracts in order to expedite the procurement of essential goods and services, including PPE.

“It is critical to the protection of the public health and safety that state agencies be able to procure essential goods in high demand and in low supply as expeditiously as possible,” the executive order reads.

The state received its last shipment of PPE from the National Strategic Stockpile on March 28 and has $50 million of outstanding purchase orders for PPE.

“We’ve got 10 shipments absolutely scheduled for this week,” Lamont said. “And I’d be delighted if two of them actually arrived.”

He said the reality is that “everything is getting rerouted into the gray market.”

And the state manufacturers who have stepped up to manufacture PPE are unable to make up for all the demand.

“Look, we are doing everything that we can do to get the PPE where we need it,” Lamont said. “It’s not just for the health of the frontline workers, it’s for the health of our greater community right now. It’s part of our back to work strategy.”

Lamont said the state has continued to receive PPE deliveries, but it’s not enough to make him feel comfortable.

The state received about 100,000 pieces of PPE on Monday, but Josh Geballe, Lamont’s chief operating officer and commissioner of the Department of Social Services, said the governor wants to “build up a war chest.”

As of Tuesday 13,989 residents had tested positive and 671 have died. More than 45,800 residents have been tested and 1,779 patients have been hospitalized.

So far none of the three field hospitals the state set up to help hospitals with capacity have not needed to be used.

In addition to suspending certain purchasing requirements, Lamont’s executive order also allows for remote property tax appeal hearings and suspends requirements for security officers to have to have a Connecticut license if they already have one from another state.

Tuesday’s executive order was the 27th that he’s enacted since declaring a public health emergency.

Connecticut COVID-19 Briefing – 4 p.m. – April 14, 2020

@GovNedLamont is scheduled to provide a COVID-19 briefing at 4 p.m.

Posted by CTNewsJunkie on Tuesday, April 14, 2020