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Feds Send $8 Million To Rural Ohio Hospitals For COVID Response

More than 65% of the nation's small, rural hospitals took out loans from Medicare when the pandemic hit. Many now face repayment at a time when they are under great financial strain.

Federal authorities are sending a more than $8 million to rural hospitals in Ohio to help with COVID-19 response.

There are 32 rural hospitals in Ohio that qualify for funding under the program. The roughly quarter-million dollar awards will help pay for COVID-19 testing and hopefully extend its reach to more rural residents.

Although the announcement doesn’t explicitly reference paying for vaccination programs, the funding can be used to “tailor mitigation efforts to reflect the needs of local communities.”

The effort will distribute almost $400 million dollars to hospitals with fewer than 50 beds nationwide. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra described the program as a way to close the “equity gap,” and help rural Americans protect themselves as new variants of the COVID-19 virus emerge.