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STATE NEWS: Ohio distributes 2 million masks to schools

COLUMBUS  The Ohio Emergency Management Agency, in cooperation with the Ohio Department of Education, received two million face masks this week for Ohio school children, teachers, and administrators.

Donated masks were made available from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and will be available to Ohio school districts through regional Educational Service Centers, according to a news release from Ohio EMA.

“This donation helps provide masks for students, teachers, and other school staff, as they plan for the coming school year,” said Gov. Mike DeWine said in the release.  “Mask wearing is one of the ways to help slow the spread of COVID-19, along with frequent hand washing and maintaining social distancing.”

These KN-95 or KN-90 masks are not medical grade, according to FEMA and Ohio EMA. There are about 12,000 masks per each shipping pallet. In total, the masks fill eight semi-tractor trailers.

“With the opening of schools around the corner, we’re delighted these masks will be put to good use by Ohio schools,” Ohio EMA Executive Director Sima Merick said in the release.

“The donated masks are another way the Department and so many education partners are working to ensure the health and safety of students, educators, and staff when school buildings reopen,” State Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria said in the release.

The masks were received by Ohio EMA, a division of the Ohio Department of Public Safety, on Monday and are being distributed to certain ESCs this week. School districts should contact their regional ESC on how to take possession of the masks, the release states.

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