OHIO, USA — As the coronavirus pandemic continues to cripple economies across the United States, Government officials are passing historical legislation to aid american citizens in the fight against the disease.
On Wednesday, The Department of Justice made $850 million available to public safety agencies across the United States under the Coronvirus Emergency Supplemental Funding program. The distribution of funds was authorized in President Donald Trump's signing of the 2.2 trillion dollar stimulus package on March, 27.
“The Justice Department is acting swiftly to help public safety agencies in Northeast Ohio and across the nation ease the financial burden caused by the continuing response to the current health pandemic,” said U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman in a press release.
Of the the $850 million dollars Ohio public safety agencies were awarded $8.4 million of the funds. The money will be used to help respond to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 outbreak. According to the Department of Justice, " Funds may be used to hire personnel, pay overtime costs, cover protective equipment and supplies, address correctional inmates’ medical needs and defray expenses related to the distribution of resources to hard-hit areas, among other activities."
The application to apply for the funds will remain open for at least 60 days. Funds will be distributed as a " top priority on a rolling basis" to successful applicants as they are received.
“This is an unprecedented moment in our nation’s history and an especially dangerous one for our front-line law enforcement officers, corrections officials, and public safety professionals,” said Office of Justice Programs Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Katharine T. Sullivan.
As of Wednesday afternoon, there are now 2,547 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Ohio. 65 people have died and 679 more are hospitalized.
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3News' Russ Mitchel discussed the current state of the pandemic with Ohio Department of Health Director, Amy Acton. Watch their full interview in the player below: