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1,400 face masks given out at county’s drive-thru giveaway

By Natalie Anderson
natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — County health officials on Thursday distributed about 1,400 free face coverings to local residents during their second drive-thru mask giveaway event at West End Plaza.

Rowan Public Health Director Nina Oliver said in July that Rowan County requested 75,000 face masks from the state to distribute. It was granted 50,000. Since then, county health officials have given away face masks at drive-thru events and at testing sites. The first drive-thru event prefaced the Fourth of July holiday weekend as locals prepared to gather for holiday celebrations.

Of the 50,000 face masks, the county estimates about 15,000 masks have been given to local residents, county spokesperson TJ Brown said.

Thursday’s event was sponsored by employees and volunteers with Rowan County Emergency Services and the county health department at 1935 Jake Alexander Blvd. W, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“Masking is one of the major defenses that we have to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” Brown said.

Drivers could request as many masks as they needed. On average, those in each car requested about five masks Thursday.

Each bag contains a white face cloth covering and instructions for use, with both English and Spanish language options.

Brown said the county is continuing its efforts to get masks out into the community and to ensure cost isn’t a barrier for locals. The county is planning more mask giveaways as well as other ways to distribute masks into the community.

As cases continue to rise, county health officials urge all locals to remember the three Ws: wear a mask, wait 6 feet apart and wash hands often.

Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246.

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