WASHINGTON – FEMA published an updated rule in the Federal Register on Dec. 31 to help ensure that critical health and medical resources remain accessible to the American public during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This rule modifies an allocation order of health and medical resources that was published in the spring and updated in the summer to reflect changing circumstances of supply and demand. The rule has modified the list of Personnel Protective Equipment and other scarce and critical health and medical resources that FEMA will review and may hold for domestic use prior to export. This rule has been extended to remain in effect until June 30, 2021.
The following health and medical resources are now subject to the modified rule:
- Surgical N95 respirators.
- Surgical masks, specifically PPE surgical masks that meet fluid barrier protection standards pursuant to specific industry standards.
- Nitrile gloves and exam gloves.
- Surgical gowns and surgical isolation gowns.
- Syringes and hypodermic needles (due to increased need for the COVID-19 vaccine) include:
- Piston syringes; or
- Hypodermic single lumen needles with a safety feature.
FEMA, along with Customs and Border Protection, the Department of State, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Food and Drug Administration, will review export shipments regularly, and continue to evaluate the list of health and medical resources covered under the allocation rule to see if supply and/or demand has changed.