COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The United States Department of Agriculture has announced it’s investing $1.2 million to improve the distance learning and telemedicine infrastructure in rural Ohio.
The investment, provided through the CARES Act, is meant to improve education and health outcomes for some 6,000 residents of rural Ohio counties.
USDA Ohio Rural Development Acting State Director Beth Huhn says the investment is in response to the higher infection and death rates in rural counties that are related to COVID-19.
“These distance learning and telemedicine investments will help rural Ohioans tap into the enormous potential of modern telecommunication technologies for education and health care, two factors that will assist in responding to the coronavirus pandemic,” Huhn said.
Huhn said COVID cases are disproportionately affecting rural Ohioans due to a higher percentage of underlying conditions, difficulty accessing medical care, and lack of health insurance.
Counties receiving the windfall include Seneca, Erie, Sandusky, Hancock, Wood, Huron, Gallia, Lawrence, and Scioto.