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Sarasota to give away 50,000 free masks to help slow spread of coronavirus

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Posted at 3:00 PM, Jun 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-26 14:35:46-04

SARASOTA, Fla. -- The city of Sarasota is looking to give away about 50,000 masks in hopes of slowing the spread of COVID-19 in the community.

According to city officials, a "Mask Mobile" will scoot around town to encourage mask use in the wake of the pandemic. The city's staff members will be handing out both paper masks and cloth masks to visitors and residents.

In Sarasota, city leaders are urging the public to wear masks when leaving their homes. Both in the city and county levels, there is not a mandatory mask ordinance in place.

“Public health experts have made it clear that whenever social distancing is not possible, face coverings are the next best option for halting the spread of this highly contagious virus. If a pre-symptomatic person and COVID-free person are both wearing masks when crossing paths, the possible spread of the virus is reduced by 95 percent,” said City Manager Tom Barwin in a press release.

The mask will be given away in various parts of Sarasota, officials say.

Complimentary face masks will also be available for pickup by residents from 9 a.m. to noon Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday outside City Hall, 1565 First St.