Campaign works to get masks to Muskegon County residents

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Multiple community organizations are teaming up to get masks to Muskegon County residents and emphasize the continued need for the public to take protective measures to help limit the spread of the new coronavirus.

The Mask Up Muskegon campaign, organized by the Community Health Innovation Region, Public Health – Muskegon County and HealthWest, is working to connect mask makers with residents who do not have access to protective face coverings and educate area residents on the importance of continued safety precautions.

“It is extremely important that we continue to take preventative measures, such as wearing face coverings and practicing physical distancing, as the economy begins to reopen and residents take advantage of Muskegon County’s unrivaled summertime fun,” said Kathy Moore, Muskegon County public health officer. “By taking these steps now, we can work to limit the potential devastation from a second wave of COVID-19.”

Face coverings limit airborne droplets that can spread the new coronavirus. Using face coverings in conjunction with physical distancing can help slow the spread of the virus.

The face coverings are being donated by local sewers and will be distributed at spots throughout the community.

As part of the campaign, more than 200 face coverings will be provided to the Muskegon Area Transit System to distribute at no cost to riders who do not have masks. The distribution, which will be the first of the campaign, will begin June 1 and will continue while supplies last.

“Residents across Muskegon County rely on MATS buses to get to work, medical appointments, and grocery stores,” said James Koens, transit system manager. “We’ve taken multiple steps to ensure the safety of our riders and employees, and we are excited to be able to help keep the community safe even after they get off the bus.”

Any sewers wishing to donate homemade face coverings can drop them off at HealthWest, 376 E. Apple Ave., or contact Community.Relations@HealthWest.net to schedule a pickup. Masks will be individually bagged with wear and care instructions to help residents understand how to use them correctly.

“Face coverings are only effective if used correctly,” HealthWest Executive Director Julia Rupp said. “This campaign will help make sure people have access to masks and the information they need to use them safely.”

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