COLUMBUS, Ohio — With a dire need for personal protective equipment for those on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ohio, Governor Mike DeWine said inmates at prisons across the state are being used to help manufacture much-needed items.
So far 500 hospital gowns have been made by inmates at Ohio prisons and they’ll be able to make up to 44,000 gowns total once they receive the additional fabric being sent to them soon, DeWine said.
Inmates will also begin to make around 5,000 lower-tech face masks and will be able to create a total of around two million masks, according to DeWine.
DeWine said that in addition to gowns and face masks, inmates will also be able to make around 1,400 gallons of hand sanitizer at prisons across the state. The ingredients for the sanitizer is expected to be received by April 14.
The governor said they are working with inmates on creating face shields as well, currently sourcing out the materials and patterns.
Each prison has it's own dedicated workshop for the PPE manufacturing and will create masks for the inmates to wear.
"Everyone is coming on board and I want to thank the director for that, and all our folks that work in our prisons and we thank the prisoners for working on that," DeWine said.