The critical importance of personal protective equipment

Abigail Higginbotham

UMKC introduced their new personal protective equipment (PPE) machines in mid June of this summer. But what exactly are these PPE machines? What do they hold? And how many can be found on both campuses? Here’s what we found.

What’s in them?

Inside a PPE machine you can find the following: 

  • Ear-loop masks.
  • Hand sanitizer.
  • Disinfecting, antimicrobial wipes.
  • Disposable non-latex gloves.
  • Kits with a mix of items. 

All items can be used to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Most items in the machine cost from $1 to $4, making these items cheap and affordable for students who may forget their masks and other supplies. 

The university put two PPE machines on campus, one in Royall Hall on the Volker Campus and one in the Health Sciences Building on the Health Sciences Campus. In addition to those two machines stocked solely with PPE, all snack vending machines on campus now have PPE options in them for students. 

UMKC Director of Strategic Communications John Martellaro has been impressed by the community response towards the pandemic. 

“Our campus community has been demonstrating a high degree of personal responsibility since the semester began, and by making these materials conveniently available at a reasonable cost, we expect that pattern to continue,” said Martellaro. “We have asked our students, faculty and staff to step up and bear a certain level of inconvenience for the greater good of us all, and they have responded admirably; we’re grateful for that.”

Sarah Battle, a UMKC sophomore, appreciates the implementation of the new machines. 

“The machines can be confusing, but I really like them,” said Battle. “They are very helpful for the students to protect themselves from the virus.” 

Battle currently lives in the residential halls and remarked how critical these machines are for students who are “just forgetful.”

Martellaro also emphasized the cost benefits for students using the new machines.  

“We need to make obtaining PPE as convenient and inexpensive as possible, and the vending machines are a great way to do that,” he said. 

With that in mind, Martellaro and the university want to remind students to stay safe and healthy during these dire times.

The PPE machines are available for any and all students to use at their convenience.

[email protected]