Nursing home PPE ’reallocated’ by FEMA

KUSA (Amanda Cochran, KUSA/NBC News)

BRUSH, Colo. – Administrators at a Colorado nursing home hard hit by COVID-19 say shipments of personal protective equipment needed to protect their staff were seized and redirected by the federal government.

Eben Ezer Lutheran Care Center in Brush, has had at least 26 residents with lab-confirmed positive COVID-19 tests and at least five residents with probable COVID-19. Twenty residents have died from the disease. The facility also has at least 19 staff with lab-confirmed positive tests and at least 14 probable staff cases.

CEO Shelly Griffith said the facility received an email from the vendor last month stating a $750 order of disinfectant wipes was redirected by FEMA and they have yet to receive any of the other items in the order.

"We placed an order on April 17 for some gowns, some face shields, and some disinfectant wipes. On April 24 we were notified that the disinfectant wipes had been reallocated by FEMA," said Griffith. "It was extremely frustrating. At that time we were in need of that shipment to arrive at that scheduled date."

Griffith said the order totaled $15,000 and included 2,000 gowns and 500 face masks – though it's unclear if those items were redirected as well.

They have still not received a refund for the shipment that never came, Griffith said, though they are working to get one.

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