Gov. Evers announces statewide efforts to distribute PPE to schools, businesses

MADISON —​ Gov. Tony Evers announced Tuesday, July 7 some additional efforts to distribute personal protective equipment (PPE) to schools, food processors and businesses across the state.

Wisconsin Emergency Management (WEM) will begin shipping more than 2 million cloth face masks and more than 4,200 infrared thermometers to K-12 public, charter and private schools throughout the state. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) is also helping to facilitate the delivery of approximately 60,000 masks to local food processors and businesses.

A survey was sent to school administrators in mid-June to determine their interest in an allotment based on existing enrollment information. At least 398 public school districts, 23 charter schools and 617 private schools indicated they would like to receive supplies, with more requests expected. The shipments are intended to supplement additional efforts districts may choose to undertake to purchase masks and other PPE.

In addition to the supplies, the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) and the Department of Health Services (DHS) collaborated on guidance for schools related to the use of cloth masks and thermometers. This guidance was distributed to schools earlier this month and is available online.

The approximately 60,000 masks for which the DATCP is facilitating distribution includes: 22,500 masks for the Wisconsin Restaurant Association; 22,500 masks for small grocers through the Wisconsin Grocers Association; 8,000 masks for small food processors through the Midwest Food Products Association; 2,500 masks for small cheese plants through the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association; 2,000 masks for small meat processors; and 2,000 masks for the Wisconsin Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association for public-facing workers.

The cloth masks and infrared thermometers were supplied by the Federal Emergency Management Agency at no cost to the state.