Governor Mike DeWine announced on Tuesday that he is sending at least two million face coverings to employers and workers across the state to weaken the impact of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) on the safety and health of Ohioans.

Governor DeWine announced the plan, called Protecting Ohio’s Workforce — We’ve Got You Covered, during his daily media briefing on the pandemic, saying the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) would fund the initiative and send the non-medical-grade face coverings in batches over several weeks, beginning this week.

“As we reopen many of our businesses, we must remember that the virus is still with us and we need to continue taking safety precautions to keep ourselves and others near us safe,” said Governor DeWine.

The shipments target Ohio employers covered by BWC that are in good standing and report payroll to the agency. Employers will not be billed for the items. The face coverings average less than a dollar a piece and will be funded from BWC’s existing budget with no impact to employer premiums.

“This is our latest response to support our employer community and workforce through this public health emergency, and I’m sure we’re not done yet,” said BWC Administrator/CEO Stephanie McCloud. “We are working to secure additional supplies so we can send even more face coverings in the weeks ahead.”

Among other efforts to mitigate COVID-19’s impact, BWC gave Ohio employers nearly $1.6 billion in late April to help their bottom line. Funded by investment returns and other savings, the dividend equaled 100% of the premiums employers paid in policy year 2018. Other efforts under Governor DeWine’s direction can be found on BWC’s COVID-19 Information page at bwc.ohio.gov for more.

For more on COVID-19, including prevention guidelines and its impact on Ohio, visit the Ohio Department of Health website coronavirus.ohio.gov

For questions about BWC as it relates to COVID-19, please visit bwc.ohio.gov or email us at BWCCOVID19@bwc.state.oh.us

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