COVID-19

Millions of Masks Will Now Be Available for Residents of Riverside County

All of these masks are available to residents, businesses, and nonprofit organizations like "Feeding America" food bank.

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Ten million masks will be handed out to residents who may need them as part of a campaign to slow down the spread of COVID-19 and help save lives.

The county’s new mask campaign also aims to help kickstart the economy sooner than later.

There's a drive thru line outside the Riverside County administrative center where workers are handing out boxes filled with thousands of masks.

All of these masks are available to residents, businesses, and nonprofit organizations like "Feeding America" food bank.

“Many non profit organizations like ours are out on the front lines serving people during this covid pandemic," said Stephanie Otero, CEO of the Feeding America food bank. “So having masks available for our staff, our volunteers is tremendously helpful."

The giveaway is all part of the county's "Masks are Medicine" education campaign, one that hopefully saves lives and the local economy.

“Riverside county has lost tens of thousands of jobs during this pandemic and the local economy has been seriously impacted.. we all want the economy to recover and we have to get this virus under control," said Kim Saruwatari of the Riverside County Public Health.

It is estimated that Riverside County has lost three billion dollars because of COVID-19. 

County health officials say if everyone wears a mask and practices social distancing it would take roughly 30 days to reverse the dramatic rise in COVID-19 cases.

"And create certainty for our businesses, schools, houses of worship and neighborhoods," Dr. Geoffrey Leung of the Riverside University Health System.  

In total, the county is handing out 10 million masks, costing two million dollars.

Money that’s coming from funding by the federal CARES Act.

“We've got to get the virus under control and we know masks are medicine," Michelle Decker Inland Community Foundation CEO.

The masks are free and they are also available at all county’s COVID-19 testing sites.

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