State Readies Purchase of Warehouse to Store PPE

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The state of Connecticut is looking to purchase a 138,000-square-foot warehouse in Manchester to store PPE and other equipment. 

“The leased facility that we’ve been using to store our PPE stockpile we have outgrown and we anticipate further issues based on testing stockpiles and other supplies that are coming in,” Josh Geballe, Gov. Ned Lamont’s chief operating officer, said. 

Since the beginning of the pandemic the state has purchased nearly $208 million in PPE and has been backstopping nursing homes with a weekly distribution of PPE. 

The latest figures are through the middle of September and they come at a time when the CDC declared COVID-19 is an airborne virus. 

“We currently have a 90-day supply of PPE. As a matter of fact it’s even more than that. We have 105% supply that keeps us moving in the right direction in the event we have to be a backstop for any of those municipalities or nursing homes,” Max Reiss, Lamont’s spokesman, said. 

The state has an adequate supply of masks, gowns, and face shields, according to Geballe and Reiss. 

“Supply chains have normalized and we know that all those institutions are able to get those supplies in a regular way but if they run short the state’s there to help,” Reiss said. 

The state needs a bigger building to house it all so it’s looking to purchase a former Sam’s Club in Manchester. 

“It’s a Sam’s Club that has been closed for some time now. Has all the appropriate loading docks as well as access to 84, 291, 91,” Rep. Jason Rojas (D-East Hartford) said. “It’s a great reuse of that facility that’s been abandoned for some time now.” 

Geballe said they would walk away from the deal if they did not get an agreement that was favorable to the state. 

“We’re moving quickly here. We’re in the middle of a pandemic. We have supplies in a warehouse that’s full so we are moving in parallel,” Geballe said. 

The two Republicans on the Bond Commission voted against borrowing $3 million to buy the building. 

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