Coronavirus: Some worry about getting their hands on PPE as ‘RestartOhio’ is set to begin

MONTGOMERY COUNTY — Phase one of RestartOhio is scheduled to begin Friday, but some Dayton-area residents and business operators are concerned whether there will be enough PPE and cleaning supplies available to meet the requirements the state has mandated.

Pat McDermott, a Washington Twp. resident, is one of those who is worried for businesses and for people won’t be able to find any for themselves.

"I'm wearing them everywhere I go," he told News Center 7's Monica Castro on Wednesday night. "I just hope there is enough because I probably won't get out next month."

Under RestartOhio, all non-essential medical procedures at hospitals that do not require an overnight stay will be allowed to resume beginning Friday, he said, including dental and veterinary procedures.

DeWine had previously barred elective surgeries, except under specific circumstances such as life-threatening circumstances, to preserve personal protective equipment. Bars, hair salons, restaurants, gyms and day care facilities will not be open at this time.

Kathy Simonton, who owns the Red Salon, said she has been trying to find PPE in anticipation of her salon getting the go-ahead soon to reopen.

“I’m ordering disposable capes and lots of disinfectants, face masks,” she told Castro. “And we’ll have a reopening plan as a salon as soon as we get some guidance when we can reopen.”

Wednesday, DeWine announced the state last week shipped 4.1 million pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) to emergency management agencies (EMAs) across the state. Although this is not the first shipment of PPE, he said it is the largest one-time distribution of PPE from the state to the local EMAs in Ohio history.

The shipment includes 500,000 N-95 masks, 850,000 face shields, 750,000 surgical-type masks, and 2 million non-medical gloves.

“When this crisis began, I told you that we were going to do everything we could to ensure that those on the front line of this crisis have the personal protective equipment they need,” the governor said. “The PPE will be distributed locally by county EMAs to nursing homes, jails, congregate living facilities, hospitals, and first responders.”

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