General Motors Thursday announced a donation of 1 million face masks across California, including for use at a testing lab in Valencia, along with funding for 5,000 flu vaccines for residents of the Golden State.
GM's support will help protect workers at a new COVID-19 testing lab, police departments, schools, homeless shelters and communities most impacted by the pandemic and devastating wildfires, the automaker said in a statement issued from its Detroit headquarters.
The California Health and Human Services Agency will receive 300,000 face masks to help ensure employees at the newly built COVID-19 testing lab in Valencia have the personal protective equipment they need to stay safe at work, according to the statement.
GM is also donating 5,000 flu vouchers that those in need across the Greater Los Angeles area can redeem at any CVS Pharmacy location, it said. These vouchers will go to public health and community organizations in the region to distribute to members of the communities they serve.
GM and CVS Health will work together to host two pop-up flu clinics for community members to receive the flu vaccine, at no cost, and to help avoid a dual pandemic in a region hit particularly hard by COVID-19. The first clinic will be on Nov. 20 in North Hollywood and the second in Pomona.
In addition to the donation to the California Health and Human Services Agency, 170,000 face masks will be donated to at-risk communities in the Los Angeles area, including in Watts, Wilmington, Harbor City and San Pedro. The masks will go to the Los Angeles Police Department, homeless shelters and nonprofits serving children and families in need.
Earlier this month, GM partnered with the California Secretary of State to provide 30,000 masks and an additional 2,500 face shields to polling locations statewide to help keep poll workers safe on Election Day, and in October, worked with the California Department of Education to donate 500,000 face masks to schools in need across the state, prioritizing communities experiencing disproportionate COVID-19 health risks, such as the families of farmworkers, Black and Latino students, children of essential workers and California tribal communities.
GM worked to distribute the masks to voting centers across the state, including in Inyo, Fresno, Shasta, Sutter, Monterey, Mono, San Diego, Sacramento and Kern counties.
"California had a safe, accessible election thanks to partners like GM,'' said Secretary of State Alex Padilla. "Maintaining in-person voting options, while expanding vote-by-mail, was a big reason that we had such a smooth election during the pandemic. The face masks and face shields provided by GM helped create a safe environment for poll workers on the frontline of our democracy and Californians exercising their voting rights.''
GM began producing face masks in Michigan in March, as the coronavirus pandemic created a critical shortage worldwide. Today, GM's Warren facility has two production lines for face masks and a third line to make N95 facepiece respirators. To date, the facility has produced more than 10 million masks, GM said, with production going to employees at GM facilities or donated to communities across the country.