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WKSU, our public radio partners in Ohio and across the region and NPR are all continuing to work on stories on the latest developments with the coronavirus and COVID-19 so that we can keep you informed.

Ohio Manufacturers to Produce More PPE

A photo of a factory worker.
Manufacturers in Ohio are shifting gears to produce more PPE.

The manufacturing industry has suffered during the economic shutdown caused by the pandemic. A new report from the Institute for Supply Management expects the industry won’t return to pre-recession levels until 2022.

Ohio manufacturers have been shifting gears to find ways to help people on the front lines of the pandemic. The Ohio Manufacturing Alliance plans to produce 750,000 isolation gowns among other personal protective equipment, such as face shields and swabs.

Ethan Karp, president and CEO of manufacturing advocacy group MAGNET, thinks some Ohio companies will continue to produce PPE after this initiative.

“Certainly the market does not need 200 people making face shields. But thinking of having one or two or three companies who really get good at it, get all that high end equipment, that’s exciting. And I think that will happen, because people have seen that they can sell into these new markets.”

Karp says the isolation gowns should be finished in the next three weeks, with announcements of more PPE production coming later this week.

Abigail Bottar is a junior at Kent State University. She is pursuing a major in political science with a concentration in American politics and minors in history and women's studies. Additionally, Abigail is starting her second semester copy editing for The Burr.
Sean Fitzgerald is a senior journalism major at Kent State University. Sean has been with Black Squirrel Radio, Kent State's student-run radio station since the spring of 2018 as a sports show host and co-host, a web article contributor and now serves as the sports department director for the station. Sean hopes to pursue a career in sports journalism once he finishes school.