Centralized ordering for high-demand PPE supplies

To help units obtain face coverings and other personal protective equipment (PPE) that remain in short supply, UW–Madison has launched a new, centralized process for procurement and distribution of some commonly requested supplies for use as specified in our Smart Restart guidance. PPE will be provided to instructors through a separate process. To further assist departments with these efforts, these PPE items (other than those provided for instruction) will be able to be ordered by specially designated divisional staff through a COVID-19 Smart Restart Catalog and will be funded centrally.

Many of these items are difficult to obtain due to the global outbreak of COVID-19 and substituted items may be of lower quality. These catalog items have been vetted by Environment, Health & Safety (EH&S) to ensure they meet quality standards. Items included in the catalog will include:

  • cleaning and disinfecting supplies,
  • individual use hand sanitizer,
  • branded and non-branded face coverings,
  • disposable procedure masks,
  • gloves and
  • face shields.

The Smart Restart Catalog is still being finalized. In the meantime, to place an order for supplies from the Smart Restart Catalog, please contact Nick Genovese, the CALS safety coordinator, at

Due to the global shortages and product allocations, use of N95 respirators must be in compliance with guidance issued by EH&S in June 2020. This includes a requirement to provide information on this PPE request form.

Please note that if a grant funded project requires the use of PPE (including masks, gowns, gloves, etc.), regardless of COVID-19, then these costs should continue to be considered as direct costs to the project and included in the project budget. However, if a lab or research space would not have required these items previously, then the items should be acquired from the preselected items in the online catalog.

All other PPE and supplies not listed in the online catalog may be purchased by using normal methods. Units needing assistance with the online catalog or with normal purchasing can contact Purchasing Services.

In addition to the PPE items for employees listed above, campus is also providing UW-branded safety kits for students this fall, including all residents in University Housing.  The kits include two reusable cloth face coverings, hand sanitizer and literature that outlines our public health protocols. Distribution details will be available in the coming weeks.

Updates about PPE provided to instructors were added on 7/22/2020.