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By Michael Kelley, Partner, Squire Patton Boggs
Santa Clara County, the heart of Silicon Valley, issued a new Health Order on April 8, 2020. [https://www.sccgov.org/sites/phd/DiseaseInformation/novel-coronavirus/Documents/order-04-08-20-ppe-disclosure.pdf] This order requires every entity and individual in the county to submit an inventory of qualifying quantities of certain Personal Protective Equipment (“PPE”) and Ventilators by April 15. The County has provided an online site to report relevant inventories. https://www.research.net/r/sccPublicHealthPPESurvey
The term “Entity” is broadly defined to cover virtually all businesses, non-profit organizations, government entities and even households resident in the county. The only exceptions are for certain medical facilities which already have ongoing obligations to report inventories to the County. In other words, if you are doing business in Santa Clara County and you have any PPE or Ventilators there, this order applies to you.
The Order lists 21 different categories of PPE and five categories of ventilators which must be reported. With respect to PPE, each category has a qualifying threshold. Entities do not need to report items below the threshold but do need to report the entire inventory if it exceeds the threshold. For example, I do not need to report the four N95 masks I have left over from a do-it-yourself project several years ago. If I had 500 masks, I would need to report them. Some of the most common items on the list include nitrile and vinyl gloves (5,000 glove threshold), N95 masks as well as other surgical or procedure masks (500 items), safety goggles and face shields (100 items), protective gowns or coveralls (100 items) all the way down to wipes (100 containers) and hand sanitizer (10 1-gallon containers). Some of these items, such as an inventory of 10 or more 1-gallon containers of hand sanitizer might be found at virtually any business. Even a medium manufacturing company could have over 100 pairs of safety glasses with side shields on hand. In compliance with the order, all of these need to be reported.
The County Order does not require that PPE or Ventilators be turned over at this time. It does caution, “Entities and individuals are strongly encouraged to conserve PPE and to use alternatives such as homemade face coverings in their place.” The Order also cautions that the County may issue future rules for the appropriate use of PPE.
The County states that inventory reports will be treated as confidential.
As always, if you have questions regarding compliance with this order, please contact one of your lawyers here at Squire Patton Boggs.