NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Relief is on the way for those on the front lines of COVID-19, now getting the state’s biggest shipment of PPE to date.
Six semi-trucks full of gloves, masks and gowns were unloaded by the National Guard at the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management.
“Everybody states and nations and the department of defense are competing for this product,” Governor Asa Hutchinson said.
As the trailers get lighter, in turn it’s lifting a heavy weight off the state’s shoulders.
“You didn’t believe it until it was physically here in the warehouse,” Gov. Hutchinson said.
It’s been quite the process to get any kind of protective equipment into the hands of healthcare workers battling COVID-19.
“You walk up behind caregivers and you know they’re scared and they’re frightened to walk into the rooms. It makes you want to work a little harder,” UAMS Assistant Vice Chancellor Curtis Broughton said.
That’s what pushed them to get a little creative.
“We were able to look for unconventional resources in order for the product to come into Arkansas,” Broughton said.
They reached out to families with ties to private suppliers overseas. Now, they are looking at a room full of armor ready for those on the front lines.
“Today we received 9 million gloves. We also received 700 thousand isolation gowns,” Broughton said.
The packages won’t sit there long. There’s a list of hospitals waiting for pick up to help healthcare workers across the state breathe a little easier.
“It helps bring a little sense of relief to themselves and also to their families as well,” Broughton said.
Hospitals will start pick ups this week and there are more shipments coming in the next several days.