School districts in Hamilton County have enough PPE — for now

Updated: Sep. 2, 2020 at 8:01 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (FOX19) - School districts around Hamilton County report they have adequate supplies of personal protective equipment as classes return for the fall semester, but they also say those supplies aren’t everlasting.

Hamilton County Educational Service Center Superintendent Chad Hilliker was part of the county’s COVID-19 update Wednesday morning.

“We’re pretty involved across the region,” Hilliger said.

ESC helps all districts in the county outside CPS.

Hilliger says the agency has provided 150,000 pieces of PPE to the 22 school districts it serves thus far, including 99,500 face masks, 50,000 face shields and 750 thermometers.

Still, some items remain hard to get, such as disinfecting wipes and medical gowns, leaving the districts to resort to alternatives.

Norwood is in week two of their return to school, though students were not in class Wednesday per the hybrid schedule.

“So far, so good,” said Norwood City Schools Superintendent Mary Ronan.

Ronan explains the district has adequate PPE supplies for now.

“We’ve got plenty of masks on hand, although I think every district has spent a lot of money on PPE,” Ronan said. “We certainly have, and as the year goes on, we know we’re going to have to replenish all these supplies, so I think that’s going to be an issue. I would say by December, halfway through the year, we’re going to have to spend a lot of additional dollars.”

Asked how kids are warming up to the mask-wearing, she said it’s not as bas as they feared.

“We thought that would be the main issue,” Ronan explained. “The children have taken to the masks better than the adults, and it’s starting to become a fashion statement. We were really shocked. We thought that would be an issue and it really has not been.”

All schools in Hamilton County will be back in session by next Tuesday.

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