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Free, Locally Made Face Masks Roll Out Across Calaveras

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San Andreas, CA — Stepping up to help protect the public during the COVID-19 pandemic a local health care district is supplying free, locally-made face masks.

This week, Mark Twain Health Care District (MTHCD) officials share they have made arrangements to provide free-of-charge masks at various markets and other locations across Calaveras County; specifically because the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is now begun recommending for public safety’s sake that everyone wear a face covering when they go out in public.

As it has become increasingly more difficult for medical and first responders to receive enough commercial medical masks to protect themselves while caring for COVID-19 test positive and potentially infected individuals, the district commissioned a local sewing contractor in West Point to manufacture 2,000 of the face coverings.

To start, the district chose essential businesses like grocery stores in every local community where more people go to get their supplies but already other locations are requesting to stock them.

At the district office, Peggy Stout reports that 500 masks were delivered to several locations Wednesday and that 500 more are on the way before the end of the week with more to come each next week. Although she did not have details as to the entailed costs, the district’s plans are to run with the project as far as it will go to get as many masks out there as possible along with printed instructions on how to properly wear and use them.

The masks, which are made from a breathable-perforated 100 percent cotton with a four-layer rating, have ear loops, tie-backs and a pinch wire at the top to fit around the bridge of your nose. They are fully washable and should be laundered daily.

Goals: To Protect, Train Public Ahead Of A Surge

“I take mine home at night,” Stout says. “Wash it in hot water with soap when you get home and dry it so it is ready for the next day.”

With the number of COVID-19 cases expected to surge soon, Stout says, “We have a week or two to train people [to wear masks because it may get ugly.”

As CDC indicates, cloth masks, scarves and other face coverings will not protect the wearer against the novel coronavirus but they will protect others from the wearer’s droplets.

Perhaps Stout suggests, folks might think of it this way, “I am wearing my mask to protect you, and you are wearing your mask to protect the next person.”

Also, as research is bearing out, “It’s really a change of behavior,” she explains. “When I am wearing my mask I am more inclined to wash my hands, not touch my face and keep my distance.”

Like following the Stay At Home Order, wearing a mask when in public is now part of best practices for everyone to help protect each other. Cases are already becoming heavier in Stockton. And, as she points out, “We are not exempt from the virus.”

The masks are currently available at the following locations:

• Angels Food Market
• SaveMart

• Big Trees Market

• Burson Market

• Young’s Payless Market

• Moke Hill Market

• Sender’s Market

• Sierra Hills Market

• Treat’s Grocery

• Health Habit
• Mar Val Foods
• Sender’s True Value