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Dear Neighbor,
Our state has been through some trying times this month. In response to COVID-19 and the Governor's series of executive orders, many businesses have had to temporarily close and unemployment is increasing accordingly. However, one thing I've always found amazing about our state, is how people pull together to triumph over adversity. I have witnessed people in our communities team together to make masks, deliver groceries to at-risk individuals, and step up to support each other in so many different ways. We will get through this, as families and communities, together.

As always, please don't hesitate to contact my office if there is anything we can do to help you and your family through this difficult time. We're here to assist you however we can. 

My sincerest regards,

Respectfully,

State Senator Kristina Roegner
27th Senate District
www.OhioSenate.gov/Roegner
 
Getting Ohio Back to Work
Over the last month, I've heard from numerous individuals in our district who are concerned about when our businesses will be allowed to get back to doing what they do best - producing great products and providing for Ohio families. To answer these questions, I wrote a column earlier this month sharing my views on how we can best move toward getting Ohio back to work as soon as possible. 

Click below to read it in its entirety.
 
Creation of Ohio Coronavirus Relief Fund
During the past month, the State Controlling Board took several steps to aid in the relief efforts. These included the creation of the Ohio Coronavirus Relief Fund, with a total of $173.9m to support the following activities:
  • $87.8m to purchase 2,000 ventilators and 22 million N95 masks, $102.45m to purchase personal protection equipment (PPE) for county EMAs, hospitals, and other medical facilities
  • $39m for statewide specimen collection, specimen collection kit manufacture, medications, external testing services, and lab equipment
  • $11.35m to create and supply temporary medical facilities across the state to supplement hospital capacity, purchase PPE, and to cover active duty pay for 600 of Ohio's National Guard who have been activated. 
  • $50.9m for the Department of Health to support local health departments, specimen collection kits, medication, preparedness and response efforts and the state Special Pathogen Treatment Center. 
 
Addressing COVID-19 Food Insecurity
The Controlling Board also re-purposed $25 million in federal school lunch and breakfast dollars to be used for the Summer Food Service Program to ensure students can continue to receive meals at home, and distributed an additional $20m in federal reimbursements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). 

Lastly, the board appropriated $9.5m over the next two fiscal years for the Federal Temporary Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). TEFAP provides emergency American-grown food assistance to low-income families. To read more about the program, click below.
 
Highighting Those Who Help
I am encouraged daily by stories of individuals and companies who are stepping up to help serve others during the COVID-19 pandemic. I'm especially grateful for our healthcare workers who risk potential exposure every day to this virus as they strive to protect our loved ones. 

If you know a local business, individual or family making a wonderful contribution during this time, please email my office at Roegner@ohiosenate.gov. I'd love to highlight their service to the community in next month's newsletter! 

Below are just three examples of many local businesses that have taken it upon themselves to join the fight against COVID-19. 

Pioneer Industrial Workflow Solutions supplements cot supply

Pioneer Industrial Workflow Solutions is a locally-owned company in Dalton. Though they normally make Amish buggies and farm equipment, they have retooled part of their production line and are now capable of producing 1,000 field hospital cots per day if necessary! You can see check out their innovative cot design here.

GEMCORE donates medical supplies and food

GEMCORE is a family of healthcare companies headquartered in Hudson and deserves to be recognized for two outstanding contributions to our region. To help those who are struggling with food insecurity, they have donated over 100,000 meals to the Akron Canton Foodbank. Additionally, GEMCORE sourced and donated 8,000 silicone pads to the Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals. These pads, normally used in wound care, are being re-purposed to prevent bruising and raw skin on the faces of healthcare workers who are wearing PPE for an extended period of time. Read more about how GEMCORE is helping during the pandemic here.

REFCOTECH makes much-needed hand sanitizer

REFCOTECH Inc., a family owned company in Orrville, normally produces high-temperature and heat-resistant coatings. Realizing that the main ingredient in many of their products was isopropyl alcohol, also the main ingredient in hand sanitizer, they began to examine if they could produce the waterless disinfectant. They have since begun pumping out sanitizer in 275-gallon totes, 55-gallon drums, 5-gallon buckets, and 32-ounce bottles. Read their story here.
 
National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week

National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week was observed April 12-18th. This week-long event was established in 1981 and seeks to thank and honor those emergency telecommunicators we rely on in our times of need. 

Last year, the Ohio Senate passed S.B. 31, a bill I sponsored, which protects the personal information of emergency telecommunicators.  This bill aims to ensure that their work on the front lines of defending our communities doesn't put them or their families at risk. You can read about my legislation by clicking below!

 

 
Where to find COVID-19 Information

If you have any questions about the latest updates on COVID-19 in Ohio, I encourage you to click below or visit coronavirus.ohio.gov where you can learn about the status of the pandemic in Ohio, read the rules for restarting your business, or find resources designed for parents and families.

Of course, you are also welcome at any time to email my office at
Roegner@OhioSenate.gov, and we will be happy to help you find the information you need. 

 
 
Senator Kristina Roegner represents the 27th Ohio Senate District, which encompasses portions of Summit and Stark County, as well as Wayne County. Learn more at www.OhioSenate.gov/Roegner.