Ohio University

University announces new purchasing guidance for personal protective equipment

Published: July 31, 2020 Author: From Staff Reports

To ensure that the University has the personal protective equipment (PPE) and supplies needed for the phased approach to fall, each planning unit has identified a point person to coordinate all COVID-19 related PPE needs and work with Purchasing to fulfill those requests.

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). 

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 quality and quantity of in-demand PPE items. 

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 provide masks to all enrolled students. In addition, the University will provide two washable, reusable masks to each employee. There is a limited supply of disposable masks available that will be distributed to key locations for use by guests/visitors. Ohio University has approved an interim face covering policy requiring students, faculty, staff and visitors to wear a face covering in all public places at all OHIO campuses and locations.
  • Hand Sanitizer – The University has placed bulk orders for 8 oz. (for students) and 16 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 such as 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. Paper towels will be distributed with each bottle of disinfectant. 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 and 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 University committee has developed new campus signage designed to help students, faculty, and staff safely navigate buildings and common spaces. If planning units need additional, customized signage for specific functions in their buildings or common areas, they must place an order through this website.

Some departments may also have PPE needs related to specific program needs of the department. For these needs, departments can continue to order PPE supplies via BobcatBUY (BCB). However, many of the vendors selling PPE within BCB are experiencing long delivery times and in some cases are out of stock due to demand.

Departments are encouraged to submit programmatic needs along with COVID-19 needs so that the University can bundle 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. 

Research PPE requests should not be included on the planning unit’s COVID-19/programmatic list. The Office of the Vice President for Research and Creative Activity has already procured PPE for research labs. For questions, please contact Roxanne Male’-Brune at male-bru@ohio.edu.  

If areas need customer service barriers/shields, please contact Facilities Management to submit a work request that includes building name, room number, point of contact, and current contact number. Customer service areas that expect to have a high volume of customers external to the 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 the appropriate PPE Planning Unit contact or email PPE@ohio.edu.