Ordering PPE & Supplies to Support COVID-19 Mitigation


On May 28th we shared an update about the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)and related supplies to be included in a centralized inventory for the University. Beginning today, these supplies are available to departments/areas whose buildings have been cleared for occupancy and have personnel available to accept deliveries at the building. Ordering these supplies from the centralized Dietrich School Stockroom (DSS) is free of charge (note: a $0.01 charge for each unit ordered such as a box or case is necessary due to system limitations).

It is important that departments/areas use this centralized inventory for certain PPE and related supplies when possible, instead of placing individual orders, particularly with unproven suppliers. The guidance and process outlined below will ensure the most efficient and cost-effective access to these supplies as well as proper accounting for potential FEMA/CARES Act cost recovery. With this centralized inventory we have first addressed the needs to support the Research Restart. Soon we will be sending out a survey to non-research departments/areas to better understand and prepare for the continued needs of PPE and related supplies that have been difficult to obtain during COVID-19.

Requirements for Departments/Areas to Withdraw Supplies from this Centralized Inventory:

  • Only departments/areas whose buildings have been cleared for occupancy should place orders.
  • Personnel must be available to accept deliveries at the building/facility.
  • In consideration of all areas needing these supplies, orders should be limited to the estimated quantity of supplies departments/areas will need for immediate use over a one-month period.
  • Consolidate orders for the department/unit level to avoid multiple orders within a short period.
  • These supplies are only for University business, not for home use.

PPE Guidelines:

  • Pitt remains committed to safe work practices. PPE is provided by the University to protect a worker from hazards associated with a task.
  • Tasks must not be performed without the required PPE. It is important to note that the PPE that was required for a task prior to the pandemic is still required to perform that task. Review general PPE guidance and guidance specific to pandemic preparedness for Researchers provided by the Department of Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S). Do not change required PPE without consulting EH&S.
  • Note that face coverings and cleaning supplies are not PPE and do not eliminate the need for social distancing.

In-stock Supplies from this Centralized Inventory & Obtaining Specialty PPE

  • The list of in-stock supplies from the centralized DSS inventory will be updated daily. While specific products/brands may not be available due to supply chain limitations, we worked with EH&S to identify comparable supplies that ensure safety.
  • If PPE and related supplies are out of stock from the centralized DSS inventory: 1) Determine if you can wait for the item to be re-stocked without impacting your work. Expected delivery times may be available, but due to the current pandemic this information is only an estimate; 2) If it is critical to restart/continue work and you cannot wait for the item to be re-stocked, then departments may purchase these supplies using subcode 8119 for Covid-19 costs, and have them shipped directly. Note: individual purchases of routine PPE will result in higher costs to your department/area.
  • For specialtyPPE and supplies that are not in short supply and not included in the centralized DSS inventory, departments should purchase these items and have them shipped directly as they have in the past. This includes biohazard bags, autoclave bags/tape, surgical drapes, and cleanroom tacky mats. Supply chain updates from our University-wide contracted suppliers are posted here each week.

Ordering Process:

  • If you have not previously used a Department or Unit account to order from the Dietrich School Stockroom, email with the 6088 subcode to have your account activated.
  • Use the PantherExpress System (accessed from to place your order through the Dietrich School Stockroom Punchout. Click here for detailed instructions.
  • Additional considerations during the ordering process:
    • There is a $0.01 charge for each unit ordered (box or case) due to system limitations.
    • Select COVID-19 for the fulfillment address to have the shipping fee waived.
    • The order will be sent to the ‘Ship To’ building address in your PantherExpress System profile. Ensure that deliveries can be accepted at this address before placing an order.

This centralized inventory does not limit the purchase of other permitted goods and services.

Contact PantherExpress Customer Service with any questions. Specific RCs/areas, including regional campuses, may have additional guidance – please coordinate with your relevant purchasing operations point of contact.





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