HARRISBURG – The Commonwealth is prepared with a stockpile of personal protective equipment or PPE should it be needed to fight the COVID-19 pandemic in the coming months. PPE includes protective clothing, helmets, gloves, face shields, goggles, face masks, and respirators or other equipment designed to protect the wearer from injury or the spread of infection or illness. It is not the same as cloth or paper masks. To date, the state has distributed close to 5.4 million N95 masks, more than 736,000 gowns, more than 2.75 million procedure masks, close to 7.7 million gloves, close to 1.3 million face shields, and a little less than 1 million bottles of hand sanitizer. PPE is necessary to protect health care workers, first responders, those working in long-term living and correctional facilities, and those they care for. It is vital for facilities to have preparedness plans and for the state to assist when needed.