Columbus, Ohio – The Ohio Emergency Management Agency (Ohio EMA), in cooperation with the Governor’s Office, the Ohio Departments of Education, Health, and Job and Family Services, is receiving shipments of an additional 9 million face masks this week for public distribution.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) donated these additional masks to the State of Ohio as part of a new FEMA Mask Program. FEMA provided an initial 2 million face masks for Ohio school districts early last month. The masks are being provided at no cost to Ohio.
This new shipment of masks will be shared with the following Ohio stakeholders:
- 4 million masks will go to the Ohio Dept. of Education for all Ohio schools (public, private, charter, parochial, and career centers);
- 144,000 will go to Ohio Dept. of Job & Family Services for daycare providers;
- 2 million will go to programs and organizations that serve vulnerable populations; and
- 1 million will go to Ohio Dept. of Higher Education
The remainder will be stored until needed.
Just like the first shipment made in August, these masks are also KN-95s, non-medical grade face masks, according to FEMA and Ohio EMA.
“I am pleased that Ohio is receiving the additional 9 million face masks,” said Ohio EMA Executive Director Sima Merick. “We’ll be able to provide needed masks to not only Ohio grade schools and colleges, but to so many more of our partners and stakeholders.”
“Ohio schools are working hard to keep students and staff members as safe as possible during the transition back to school,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria. “In fact, some schools already have reopened and this infusion of masks will go a long way toward helping protect everyone involved in the process. These masks will help to ensure healthy practices and position schools to have a safe start to the new academic year.”
“As we fight this pandemic, we must continue to focus on the most vulnerable and make sure they have the resources they need to prevent and respond to disease, said Interim Director of Lance Himes, Ohio Department of Health. “Masks have proven to be a lifesaving tool, one that must be made available to everyone, regardless of income, age, race, ethnicity, or background. I am grateful that both the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Ohio EMA recognize the importance of helping us protect each and every Ohioan from the devastating effects of COVID-19. Such priorities help make our communities stronger, ease hardship, and move us toward our goal of ensuring that no one is left behind.”
“We are extremely grateful that these masks will be provided at no cost to Ohio child care providers,” said Ohio Department of Job and Family Services Director Kimberly Hall. “All Ohioans deserve equal access to the tools they need to keep themselves, their families and communities safe. Masks are one of the most important lines of defense that we have.”
FEMA is delivering half of the mask shipment to Ohio this week. Identified partners to receive the masks will assist in distribution.