Personal Protective Equipment & Swab Kits
Updated September 2020 - This page is a centralized, personal protective equipment (PPE) and swab kit information-hub for providers of health care in the Ontario Health East Region. You will find important information, including PPE conservation strategies, and the ability to submit urgent requests online for PPE and swab kits.
Support for Health Care Providers
The Ontario Health East Region Supply Chain Taskforce covers the areas served by the Champlain, South East and Central East LHINs. The Taskforce is available to address providers’ inquiries about access to supplies, the best practice and use of PPE, and works closely with the Regional Testing Advisory Committee on the distribution of swab kits.
Actions and Process for PPE Inventory Management
Across the province, every provider must do its part to contribute to the successful management of the constrained PPE inventory. This can be achieved by:
Reporting PPE Inventories
Appropriately Using and Conserving PPE
Working with Own Suppliers
Engaging with other Local System Partners
|See below: Report PPE Inventories
Follow best practices:
- Ontario Health - Use & Conservation
Click here, and then on "Personal Protective Equipment"
- Ontario Health - Optimization
Click here, and then on "Personal Protective Equipment"
||Negotiate earliest availability and quantity
Parent companies and other
community partners, including:
↓ ↓ ↓
Sending Urgent Requests for PPE
See below: Send Urgent Requests for PPE
Ontario East Regional
Supply Chain Taskforce
Assists with PPE inquiries and facilitates supply requests. Will escalate for urgent action, if needed
Report PPE Inventories
It is critical that all in-scope participants for data submission send reports on their inventories twice weekly - on Mondays and Thursdays (visit this page for more information).
Having access to this information is a vital step for us to understand our current state and optimize the availability of PPE needed to protect front-line health care providers.
To submit these reports, all in-scope participants should be using the province’s online COVID-19 Survey Portal (except for hospitals that have access to the Daily Bed Census).
PPE and Swab Kit Requests
Urgent PPE Requests
- While hospitals, long-term care and retirement homes are expected to continue sourcing their own PPE, organizations in urgent situations (when care could be impacted in five days or less) need to escalate their PPE requests to the Taskforce through the online form. If you need help completing the form, please refer to the Quick Reference Guide.
- It is vital you submit correct and complete information in your request for PPE. Where specified in the form, add all pertinent, contextual information to help the Taskforce better understand your request.
- A member of the Taskforce will respond within one business day.
Transitional Support PPE
- As Ontario recovers from the first wave of the pandemic, a primary focus is on the overall re-opening of the health care sector, and specifically on the restarting of in-person services, and safely reducing the service backlog. To accomplish this, there must be a sufficient and reliable supply of PPE.
- Primary care providers, community-based physician specialists and the community health sector have faced PPE-supply challenges - including new sourcing complexities, escalating pricing, and lack of administrative resourcing to support supply chain functionality. Providers without established PPE supply chains prior to the pandemic, or whose supply chains failed have been particularly disadvantaged.
- Transitional support will be provided to the following providers to address their unique challenges, and support their important role in providing in-person services:
- Primary care providers
- Community-based physician specialists
- Indigenous communities
- Indigenous health service providers
- Community health providers.
- These providers have access to the provincial PPE supply to meet their re-opening needs, and may do so without first attempting to secure their own PPE supply from the commercial market. Eligible providers need to submit their requests for Transitional Support PPE through the online form. If you need help completing the form, please refer to the Quick Reference Guide.
On September 10, 2020, the provincial PPE intake and distribution process expanded to include swab kits. This means the province is streamlining requesting, triaging, warehousing and distributing PPE and swab kits across the province by leveraging existing Regional Supply Chain Network processes.
- Champlain hospitals and Champlain hospital-run COVID-19 Assessment Centres: email your requests to Eastern Ontario Laboratory Association (EORLA) at COVID-19TestKits@eorla.ca. On your behalf, EORLA is coordinating swab-kits requests with Ontario Health.
- All other providers in Ontario Health East: complete the online form to request swab kits. If you need help completing the form, please refer to the Quick Reference Guide.
- Please Note: To avoid running out of swab kits, submit your requests at least three days in advance, and up to seven days, if possible.
Urgent Swab Kit Requests
- To receive swab kits on a Monday, you must submit your request before 12 noon on the previous Friday.
- If an urgent weekend delivery is needed, providers will be expected to incur the shipping cost. Providers are encouraged to submit requests before the weekend (unless a critical situation arises) and ensure they have a sufficient inventory (e.g. one to four weeks’ supply). Two methods of weekend delivery will be available:
Option 1 - recommended for providers near the Toronto area: Once the swab kit request is approved, providers can arrange for pick up at Public Health Ontario Laboratory (PHOL) Toronto. Providers will be instructed to contact Logistics at 416.723.2016 to schedule the pick-up at PHOL (661 University Ave, via the loading dock).
Option 2 - recommended for providers outside the Greater Toronto Area: Once the swab kit request is approved, the provider can send a courier (or their preferred method for pick-up) and can contact PHOL Toronto Logistics at 416.723.2016 to schedule the pick-up. Alternatively, if the provider submits a courier account number, PHOL can coordinate delivery on the provider’s behalf.
East Region PPE and Critical Supplies Table
The focus of this cross-sectoral Table is to gather, manage and equitably distribute PPE and critical supplies to in-scope sectors within the region. The scope and membership of the table is anticipated to expand, as supply-chain flows increase. More information, including current membership, is available in the Table's Terms of Reference.
- If you are able to provide PPE, emergency supplies, or innovative solutions to support the response to COVID-19, please visit the Ontario Together website.