April 9 (UPI) -- The Department of Defense awarded $5.2 billion in contracts for various aspects of coronavirus response -- including face masks, alternate care centers and unspecified coronavirus-related response -- Thursday.
The deals announced include an eight-month, $86.4 million contract awarded to Aurora Industries to provide face masks for the Defense Logistics Agency.
The Camuy, Puerto Rico tactical clothing manufacturer was awarded the contract exclusively, with the Pentagon citing a provision in Federal Acquisition Regulations that allows the federal government to bypass the competitive process if "the property or services needed by the agency are available from only one responsible source or only from a limited number of responsible sources and no other type of property or services will satisfy the needs of the agency."
Aurora announced April 1 that it had approved protoypes of a utility face mask and was waiting for Puerto Rico Occupational Health and Safety Administration certification to mass produce masks as well as other personal protective medical equipment using antimicrobial fabric.
Also Thursday, the DoD awarded a $5 billion omnibus deal -- similar to one awarded Wednesday worth $10 billion -- to 9 contractors in support of the federal government's novel coronavirus response, as well as two contracts for alternate care centers -- one for $40 million in the Bronx, N.Y., and one for $9.7 million in East Orange, N.J. -- and a $25 million contract to Landscape Management Systems for hazardous waste management in Guam.
The Pentagon also said Thursday that contractors who could not work due to facility closures -- presumably including Boeing, which has shuttered its worksites in Washington state and Philadelphia -- or other restrictions would still be paid.