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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Personal Protective Equipment

Supporting the Needs of Public Health and Healthcare Partners in an Emergency

Healthcare workers rely on personal protective equipment (PPE) to safeguard themselves and their patients against the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. HHS/ASPR’s Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) is the nation’s largest repository of emergency medical supplies to ensure that healthcare workers are equipped with the PPE they need to slow the spread of infection. When states, tribal nations, large metropolitan areas and territories cannot meet their PPE needs from their own stockpiles or from the commercial market, they can request SNS assets.

The SNS has provided millions of masks, gloves, gowns, N-95 respirators, face shields and other necessary supplies to minimize risk to healthcare workers as they care for patients across the country. These supplies are effective and critically important tools to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Replenishing the SNS

As ASPR continues to expand and restructure the SNS, it is careful not to disrupt the supply chain so commercial distributors can still fill orders from U.S. healthcare facilities to meet current needs.

The SNS has greatly increased N95 respirators and ventilators on hand since pre-pandemic inventory. Other critical personal protective equipment such as surgical masks, gowns, coveralls, eye protection and have been added to inventory.

SNS-held N95 Respirators    Vinyl/Nitrile Blend Examination Gloves

As of May 21, 2021, Personal Protective Equipment Available for Deployment (through SNS):

N95 Respirator icon Gloves icon Surgical/Face Masks icon Face Shields icon Surgical Gown & Coveralls icon Goggles icon
N95 Respirators
Surgical/Face Masks
Face Shields
Surgical Gown & Coveralls

Request Process

In the event state and local supplies are depleted and commercial supplies are unavailable to support response needs, states, territories, tribal nations, and the largest metropolitan areas may request federal assistance from the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS). This includes requests for supplemental supplies, including PPE, ventilators, medical countermeasures, and Federal Medical Stations. Learn more about requesting assets and tribal support.

Contact Information

For questions on PPE, please contact the SNS Operations Center at

  • This page last reviewed: August 12, 2021