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County to use funds for protective equipment, other supplies against COVID-19

Elisabeth Slay
The Shawnee News-Star

Pottawatomie County Commissioners voted to utilize use tax funds to purchase Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for various county entities to prepare as the pandemic continues.

According to District 2 Commissioner Randy Thomas, the county was awarded $1.6 million from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, which will be used to reimburse the county for any PPE purchased with county funds. 

Thomas said the county has until December to utilize all the funding awarded by the CARES Act. 

The commissioner explained the county plans to purchase PPE items such as masks, gloves, goggles, face shields, protective suits and more.

Thomas explained it is the goal of the county to ensure entities such as schools, the county jail and other places have enough PPE to properly protect people from contracting and spreading COVID-19.

According to Shawnee Fire Chief Rodney Foster, when the pandemic first started people were not sure what to do and were not properly prepared. 

With this funding and by purchasing a large amount of PPE, Foster said the city of Shawnee and Pottawatomie County can now keep more people safe as the pandemic continues.