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Cincinnati, Hamilton County EMA look to increase PPE stockpiles for coronavirus pandemic



CINCINNATI (WKRC) - Last week, the city of Cincinnati declared an emergency because of the coronavirus.

"When the mayor [and City Council] freed us up, we reached out to a lot of international markets and we started sourcing [PPE] from all sorts of alternative places to get PPE," said City Manager Patrick Duhaney.

PPE, or personal protective equipment, are masks, gowns, gloves -- anything to keep people from spreading or catching things like the coronavirus.

The city wouldn't have been able to buy the PPE from those markets without that emergency declaration.

"We've got what we need right now. We don't know how long this is going to last, but we're going to continue to try and source, but we're in a good place as a city right now," Duhaney said. “We're better than most places right now, but we have what we need to make sure our health care workers, our police and our fire department and our 911 center -- because they always function and [must be] available to meet the needs [of the public].”

Duhaney says since no one knows how long the pandemic will last, the city is working to secure more of the protective equipment.

The Hamilton County Emergency Management and Homeland Security are asking local companies if, if they have any, they could donate to first responders and health care workers.

"We thought we'd reach out to our community in Hamilton County and see if they had anything, they could donate to the first responders and health care community," Hamilton County Emergency Management and Homeland Security Director Nick Crossley said.

"We're not asking anyone to put their own employees at risk or anything, but if they have extra they think they can spare for the first responders and health care community, we're asking them to donate it to us," Crossley said.

Crossley says he doesn't know how long the current supply will last.

"We're just trying to get as much as we can and then asking all of our first responders and health care companies, and they're already doing this to be as judicious as possible with its use," Crossley said.

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