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DeWine: Over 4 Million Pieces of PPE Distributed, $16 Million Available For Criminal Justice Grants

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Office of Gov. Mike DeWine

Gov. Mike DeWine said during his Wednesday press conference that 4.1 million pieces of personal protective equipment were shipped to local emergency management agencies (EMAs) across Ohio last week. DeWine said this is thought to be the largest one-time distribution of PPE in the history of Ohio.

The supplies are being distributed locally to nursing homes, jails, congregate living facilities, hospitals and first responders. The shipment included 500,000 N95 masks, 850,000 face shields, 750,000 surgical masks, and 2 million non-medical gloves.

DeWine noted the difficulty in acquiring supplies as Ohio competes with other states and nations to purchase PPE.

“As we move into this reopening process, as we try to get Ohio businesses back moving forward, we must make sure that we have strong supply chains of PPE so we can continue to fight this virus as we move forward,” he said.

DeWine said officials will be releasing more information in the coming days on efforts to acquire and distribute PPE. 

Law Enforcement Grants

DeWine also announced that the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services was awarded $16 million in grant funding for law enforcement agencies as part of the federal CARES Act.

The funding can be used for cleaning supplies, technology for virtual court hearings, inmate medical needs, and testing supplies in jails, among other criminal justice needs. Domestic violence shelters may also apply for funding to provide alternative housing to survivors of domestic violence. 

There is no deadline to apply, but he encouraged agencies to make requests as soon as possible as the funding may run out. Local law enforcement, probation and parole offices, courts, victims service providers and correctional agencies may apply for funding, and there is no limit on the amount of funding agencies can receive.

Increase in Ohio COVID-19 Cases, Deaths

As of Wednesday, Ohio has 17,303 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19. That is an increase of 534 cases reported in the last 24 hours. Dr. Amy Acton, the director of the Ohio Department of Health, said the number of deaths rose to 937, and hospitalizations have also increased slightly over the last 24 hours. 

Acton said one explanation for the significant increase in deaths is the lag time between when a death occurs and when it is reported.

“The people who actually die today, we’ll be learning about them in many weeks and even months to come. So that's why death data can be a little bit tricky to interpret,” she said.

She predicted the state's death numbers would continue to increase over the coming months.