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House Democrats announce $15M in federal funds to fight COVID-19 in Ohio

Say funds will help local health departments, increase testing capacity amid public health crisis
March 25, 2020
Democrat Newsroom

House Democratic lawmakers today announced the approval of $15.6M in federal funds for the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) to support local health departments, increase testing capacity, create public education campaigns, and support other costs associated with the state’s response to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.

“I’m pleased we could act swiftly to direct these funds where they’re needed most—to aid our local health departments leading this fight in our communities and to increase testing capacity across the state,” said Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron).“We will continue to work with partners at the federal, state and local levels to address this once-in-a-lifetime public health and economic crisis.”

The funds are part of the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, which passed Congress and was signed into law earlier this month. It will provide funding to all 50 states to respond to the global pandemic.

“Our local health departments are working overtime to respond to this public health crisis, and today’s action gets funding to the front lines where it’s needed most,” said Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire), who sits on the state’s Controlling Board which approved the funds. “This is a step in the right direction in our collective effort to respond to this crisis.”

ODH is proposing the following:

  • $10,153,650 to support monitoring, investigation, containment, and mitigation efforts by local health departments;
  • $1,300,000 to develop multi-media public education and awareness campaigns;
  • $1,000,000 to conduct /COVID-19 testing at ODH's Public Health Laboratory;
  • $750,000 to cover payroll and contracting costs;
  • $2,417,327 to support other COVID-19 response costs, including the COVID-19 Call Center and the purchasing of personal protective equipment.