State expands PPE program to schools, launches new directory for supplies

The state on Wednesday said it is offering more ways to make personal protective equipment more accessible, not only to Indiana businesses and not-for-profits, but to schools.

The state has begun coordinating with schools across Indiana to provide PPE supplies for K-12 students and educators. It already has supplied 3 million reusable face masks to schools for students to use during the school year.

About 475 public, charter and private schools across the state will receive PPE bundles that include reusable antibacterial cloth face masks for every student, 500 standard size disposable face masks, 100 two- or four-ounce bottles of hand sanitizer and 10 one-gallon jugs of hand sanitizer. Schools will receive the bundles at no cost.

The bundles, which are being planned, packaged and shipped in partnerships with the Indiana Department of Education and Indianapolis-based Langham Logistics, will be shipped beginning next week and will be sent in order of school start dates.

Additionally, the state today launched the Indiana PPE Directory, which replaces the Indiana Small Business PPE Marketplace and seeks to provide a longer-term solution to ensure reliable and credible access to PPE, particularly for small businesses and not-for-profits.

Since first launching on May 6, the Indiana Small Business PPE Marketplace has fulfilled 30,854 orders, shipping bundles of hand sanitizer, face masks and face shields at no cost to Hoosier small businesses and not-for-profits in more than 600 cities and towns statewide.

As that program concludes, businesses in need of PPE should now visit the Indiana PPE directory, available online at backontrack.in.gov, to order items directly from Indiana providers. The directory includes face masks, face shields, gloves, eye protection, hand sanitizer and disinfectant. Shipping is free.

The directory currently features 12 Indiana companies, including Marion County-based After Action Medical & Dental, Catalyst PDG, Fatheadz, Harris & Ford, Fusek’s True Value, Hotel Tango and Sugar Creek Bottling Co.. Additional providers are under review.

All companies featured in the directory have been vetted by the Indiana Economic Development Corp. and must meet the following requirements: Must be headquartered or incorporated in Indiana; must be able to fulfill and ship orders within two business days of receipt; offer free shipping to Indiana businesses and not-for-profits; have the ability to offer expedited shipping for a cost; must be able to process online orders and credit card payments; and must prioritize orders placed through the directory.

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