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Ohio University students wearing N-95 masks while going through Baker Center on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2022.

Over $900,000 spent on personal protective equipment by OU throughout pandemic

Ohio University has spent $915,763 on COVID-19 personal protective equipment, or PPE, most of which was covered by federal grants. 

OU had to increase its expenditures on PPE to keep students, faculty and staff safe, according to a previous Post report. In fiscal year 21, $809,324 was spent on PPE. 

Among the products OU supplied were 3-ply disposable face masks, KN-95/N-95 masks, hand sanitizer, Clorox wipes, clear masks, face shields and disinfectant spray

Even during spikes of positive COVID-19 test results, Carly Leatherwood, a university spokesperson, said OU never experienced a shortage of supplies.

Ryan Spellman, a service desk coordinator at Alden Library, said whenever the library began to run low on PPE products, it would usually be restocked again quickly. He said that process typically only occurred when there was an increased demand for available masks, as Alden was a distribution point. 

“I can happily say students absolutely used the products we provided to them,” Joseph Walden, a library support specialist at Alden, said in an email. “We had many people pick up the KN-95 masks and the individual bottles of hand sanitizer. And, we still have people using Clorox wipes and our surgical masks, too. People spend a lot of time studying in the library, so they seemed to take advantage of what we offer.”

Recently, Alden Library and Baker University Center also started offering free BinaxNOW tests, one test per week per individual, for students, faculty and staff. Those tests started to be offered at the library on Feb. 16. 

Walden said he thinks Alden and Baker were the locations that gave out the free tests because of their centralized locations and easy accessibility to all. 

However, Walden said he was unsure if the free tests were advertised enough due to a slow initial rollout. 

“There was a time we went through 500 (masks) in less than two weeks, but I see it as a good thing as long as everyone has access to what they need,“ Spellman said in an email. "I am happy students are being mindful and using them."

@madalyntblair

mb682120@ohio.edu

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