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Planning Unit PPE Purchasing Guidance

Over the past several months there has been a tremendous amount of work to identify the various personal protective equipment (PPE) and supplies that the university will need to have available as we start to welcome everyone back to our campuses and mitigate the risk of COVID-19. To ensure that we are prepared and have what is needed for fall opening, we asked each planning unit to identify a point person to help us gather PPE needs for each department and unit. As such, each planning unit has identified one point of contact to coordinate all COVID-19 related PPE needs. This individual will be working directly with departments within the planning unit to consolidate all PPE needs and work with Purchasing to fulfill those requests. Please view the  PPE Planning Unit Contact webpage to identify the individual that has been assigned to your planning unit. 

Effective immediately, all planning unit requests for COVID-19 PPE supplies (including but not limited to: masks, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, cleaners, etc.) must be requested through the Planning Unit’s appointed individual.  Individual departmental purchases for COVID-19 PPE must not be made by PCard or through any other purchasing tools (Payment Request, Reimbursement or Requisition). If you have questions or feel you have exceptions, please reach out to Finance Customer Care at financecustomercare@ohio.edu, and your question will be assigned to someone that can assist you.  

With the limited availability of PPE items in the market, a centralized purchasing and distribution process will allow the University to procure and provide the necessary items. Consolidating orders allows us to secure large quantities of in demand PPE items so we have what we need; ensures that we are doing business with reputable vendors and don’t fall victim to a PPE scam; and guarantees that the PPE is effective at mitigating the risk of COVID-19.  

The following points were shared with the PPE planning unit contacts to assist them in planning for their areas COVID-19 PPE needs and to determine the quantities in which these supplies will be needed.

  • Cleaning - Custodial Services will professionally clean and disinfect University spaces. Personal spaces (such as offices, desks, cubicles), classrooms, and conference space should be disinfected frequently by occupants/users. More information will be forthcoming on this process from Facilities. 
  • Masks - The University will be providing masks to all enrolled students. In addition, the University will provide one washable, reusable mask to each employee. There is a limited supply of disposable masks available that will be distributed to key locations for use by guests/visitors. Guidance on face coverings for students, faculty, staff, and our guests/visitors is expected soon.  The PPE group will address any specific guidance related to face coverings once this guidance has been shared with the university community.
  • Hand Sanitizer – The University has placed bulk orders for 8 oz. bottles of hand sanitizer (Germ Attack brand) that will be distributed to departments within the University.  Additionally, hand sanitizer will be available in public spaces like building entranceways, lobbies, and other strategic points.  
  • COVID-19 Disinfectants – A bulk order has been made for a disinfectant spray that will be supplied to departments. No PPE is required to use this product.   
  • Disinfecting Wipes – The University has purchased a bulk supply of disinfecting wipes (ex., Clorox or Lysol Disinfecting Wipes). Orders for wipes will be filled internally and departments should not order or purchase these separately. 
  • Gloves – Are not recommended for prevention of COVID-19, therefore, they will not be provided to employees for purposes of COVID-19 prevention.  
  • Tissues – Facial tissues must be purchased by departments and will not be provided to departments centrally. Tissues are considered a departmental supply and have been purchased in this manner for years.  
  • Signage – A group has been established to address University signage needs.  The group will prioritize University-wide requirements.  Additionally, they are expected to communicate a process by which Departments can request signage specific to their needs/function.   (ex., occupancy levels per room, spacing marks, etc.). 

 Some departments may also have PPE needs related to specific program needs of the department. For these needs, you can continue to order your PPE supplies via BobcatBUY (BCB). Be advised, however, that many of the vendors selling PPE within BCB are experiencing long delivery times and in some cases, are out of stock due to demand. You are encouraged to submit your programmatic needs along with your COVID-19 needs so that we can bundle the PPE orders. This allows the University to take advantage of bulk buying opportunities that can not only save the University money but also secure sufficient quantities of hard to find PPE items. PPE needs for programmatic purposes must be paid for by the department. 

Do not include research PPE requests on your planning unit’s COVID-19/programmatic list. The VP for Research Office has already procured PPE for research labs. If you have questions about research related PPE, please reach out to Roxanne Male’-Brune at male-bru@ohio.edu.  

Additionally, if your area has a need for customer service barriers/shields, please contact Facilities Management to submit a work request (in accordance with the manner appropriate for your campus) that includes building name, room number, point of contact, and current contact number. In accordance with the email communication sent June 5th from Sr. AVP for Facilities Steve Wood, customer service areas that expect to have a high volume of “customers” external to your department visiting on a daily basis should be the only requests submitted at this time. Barriers/shields options for separating workstations, waiting areas, etc. are being reviewed and Facilities will communicate information about this need separately in the coming weeks.  

Questions? Please reach out to your PPE Planning Unit contact or email PPE@ohio.edu.