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Purchasing PPE and COVID-19 Mitigation Supplies

Requirements for ordering PPE and COVID-19 Mitigation Supplies

The requirements and process outlined below will ensure the most efficient and cost-effective access to these supplies as well as proper accounting for potential Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act cost recovery:

  • Personnel must be available to accept deliveries at the building/facility.
  • These supplies are only for University business, not for home use.
  • Specific RCs/areas, including regional campuses, may have additional guidance. Please coordinate with your relevant purchasing operations’ point of contact.

Determining the Types of PPE and COVID-19 Mitigation Supplies Needed

Common areas, classrooms, and lecture halls are cleaned by Facilities Management, and therefore, departments do not need to purchase supplies for these areas. University members may be required to clean or disinfect areas not managed by Facilities Management during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as individual offices. Guidance on responsibilities for cleaning and disinfection is detailed in the University Standards and Guidelines for Cleaning, Disinfection, and Hygiene.

Departments can determine the types of supplies appropriate for tasks performed in their offices and other non-public areas by referring to the University’s Standards & Guidelines: PPE, Face Coverings, and Personal Hygiene.

Processes for Purchasing PPE and COVID-19 Mitigation Supplies

Policies and procedures for the purchase of other types of products and services NOT addressed below have not changed. For any questions, contact Customer Service.

COVID-19 Mitigation Supplies and PPE for General Use by All Departments/Areas (Non-research/Clinical)

PPE and COVID-19 mitigation supplies needed by all departments to clean or disinfect areas not managed by Facilities Management, such as disinfectant in the form of wipes or spray bottles as well as hand sanitizer, will be continually available from several University-wide contracted suppliers through the PantherExpress System. Supply chain updates from University-wide contracted suppliers are posted online each month.

The ordering and distribution process for PPE and COVID-19 mitigation supplies for general use by all departments/areas is as follows:

  • All items should be purchased through the PantherExpress System (or PRISM as appropriate for each regional campus).
  • Orders of PPE and COVID-19 mitigation supplies should use the dedicated subcode 8119 for COVID-19 costs.
  • When available, containers of disinfecting wipes (80 disinfecting wipes/container) should be purchased from the dedicated supply available through University-wide contracted supplier, SUPRA.
    • These supplies are available to all departments/areas for non-research/non-clinical use, including the regional campuses. These supplies can be purchased through the PantherExpress System at the cost of $0.01/unit, while supplies last, through the end of the Fall 2021 term. Visit this page for more information.
  • University departments should first attempt to obtain COVID-19 mitigation supplies from University-wide Contracted Suppliers.
  • University departments may obtain COVID-19 mitigation supplies from non-University-wide Contracted Suppliers if the University-wide contracted suppliers are unable to provide the requested items within a timely manner or at reasonable prices.

University departments with unique purchasing requirements that may or may not have local inventories such as Housing, Facilities, Division of Laboratory Animal Resources, School of Dental Medicine and the regional campuses are encouraged to work with Purchasing Services but may place their own large orders directly with suppliers to accommodate departmental needs.

Purchasing PPE and COVID-19 Mitigation Supplies for Research/Clinical Use from the Dietrich School Stockroom (DSS)

PPE and specialized COVID-19 mitigation supplies for research or clinical use on the University’s Pittsburgh campus that have been difficult to acquire during the COVID-19 pandemic are available through a centralized inventory managed by the DSS. PPE and specialized COVID-19 mitigation supplies may be withdrawn from the DSS for research/clinical use only. Only departments/areas on the Pittsburgh campus may withdraw supplies from the DSS. Regional campus needs should be coordinated through each regional campus’ central purchasing operations.

When requesting supplies via the DSS, consider:

  • The list of in-stock supplies from the centralized DSS inventory will be updated regularly.
  • It is recommended that departments purchase items stocked through the DSS until these supplies are depleted. Once this supply is depleted, departments may purchase these items from a variety of University-wide Contracted Suppliers via the PantherExpress System. Departments should use the dedicated subcode 8119 for COVID-19 costs when purchasing these items from University-wide Contracted Suppliers.
  • For specialty PPE and supplies that are not in short supply and which are not included in the DSS inventory, departments should purchase these items and have them shipped directly as they have in the past.
  • University departments with unique purchasing requirements that normally maintain local inventories, such as the Division of Laboratory Animal Resources and the School of Dental Medicine Clinic, are encouraged to work with the DSS for ordering but may also place their own large orders directly with suppliers to accommodate departmental needs.
  • Supply chain updates from University-wide contracted suppliers are posted here each month.
  • Effective October 1, 2020 research areas should begin charging the full cost of PPE and COVID-19 mitigation supplies to grant accounts.
    • For those areas which have grants that do not normally utilize PPE for their research, but will incur such costs due to COVID-19, the costs should be charged to operating (non-research) accounts. A process to request reimbursement for such costs from central University funds is available on the CFO Sharepoint site. Directors of Administration should consult with their Associate Dean for Research to determine the research group(s) to which this applies.

The ordering and distribution process for PPE and COVID-19 mitigation supplies for research/clinical use from the DSS is as follows:

  • If you have not previously used a department or unit account to order from the Dietrich School Stockroom, email stockroom@pitt.edu with the 6088 subcode to have your account activated.
  • Use the PantherExpress System (accessed from my.pitt.edu) to place your order through the Dietrich School Stockroom Punchout. Visit this page for detailed instructions. Please ensure you are using the **COVID list from the Company Lists menu to select items from the centralized inventory.
Laboratory Plasticware
The University purchased certain laboratory plasticware, which have been difficult to obtain due to the supply chain impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, to help supply research labs. These plasticware supplies are distributed through the Dietrich School Stockroom (DSS). These plasticware supplies include pipette tips, flasks, tubes, serological (disposable) pipettes, cell culture dishes and well plates. Visit this page for more information.