Pennsylvania emergency management officials will be permitted to commandeer N95 face masks, ventilators and other crucial medical equipment for use in the fight against COVID-19 under an order signed Wednesday by Gov. Tom Wolf.
The order mandates that private and public health care facilities, manufacturers and other companies tabulate their supplies of personal protective equipment, drugs and other medical equipment, and provide an inventory to the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency within five days.
PEMA will make the supplies available to areas of the state hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic, Wolf's order said, and it will be up to state agencies to repay the entities from which the equipment was taken.
"Combatting a pandemic means we all have to work together and that means we need to make the best use of our medical assets to ensure the places that need them most have them," Wolf said in a statement.
"Today, I am signing an order that will allow us to transfer supplies, and information between medical facilities to both high-population, high-impact areas and lower population areas that might not have as many existing medical resources," he said.
Several other states, including New York and Minnesota, have issued similar orders.