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With the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, all UW Medicine staff need to continue to conserve personal protective equipment (PPE) and critical items consistent with the guidelines outlined in our PPE conservation policy, which can be found at We currently have an adequate supply, however to avoid potential shortages across our system, we must all focus on conserving these crucial supplies to allow our clinicians and staff to safely care for patients with COVID-19.

Every staff member plays a crucial role in conserving PPE. Please ensure you are familiar with the conservation guidance in the policy and implementing the proposed strategies. In addition, please share the importance of this message to those with whom you work. We each need to follow the guidelines to conserve PPE and other critical items to sustain our care and safety for patients and staff. You can find the individual staff guidelines involving PPE usage at the link above.

We have also developed a system-wide PPE and critical item allocation process, which will guide decision-making on how critical items will be allocated in the case of shortages. That policy also can be found at the link above.

In addition, we are changing the way we deliver care across the system in order to conserve and mitigate the use of PPE and critical supplies as we continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and potential surge in patients. The PPE conservation and allocation policies are just one part of the strategy. We have also taken the following actions to conserve these vital resources:

  • Drive-through patient and staff testing for COVID-19.
  • Postponing elective and non-urgent surgeries and procedures.
  • Expanding telehealth services for clinic patients.
  • Minimizing staff entering rooms with respiratory illness patients.
  • Suspending student programs in our hospitals.

The safety of our staff and patients is our highest priority as we fulfill our mission to improve the health of the public and support our community during this challenging time. Conserving PPE is essential to our ability to serve that mission. We greatly appreciate your collective commitment and efforts in these challenging times.


Lisa Brandenburg
President, UW Medicine Hospitals & Clinics

Timothy H. Dellit, MD
Chief Medical Officer, UW Medicine
President, UW Physicians