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Omaha CHI Health gives away 15,000 face masks Saturday

(WOWT)
Published: Jun. 27, 2020 at 1:08 PM CDT
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Masks have quickly become the accessory of the summer.

People are wearing them across the country to keep themselves and others healthy during the current pandemic.

“If we are a community, we need to help each other and be part of that community by protecting others as much as ourselves,” said Arli Boustead, planning and innovation strategist with CHI Health’s Community Benefit Division.

The CDC has recommended wearing a mask if you’re out in public and can’t keep a safe distance from others.

“If you’re going to be unable to socially distance, like in a grocery store or any other location that you’re in the community, it’s important for you to think proactively and wear a mask,” said Tina Ames, vice president of marketing and communication with CHI Health’s Community Benefit Division.

At three different locations Saturday, CHI Health handed out 15,000 masks to people driving up in their cars.

“All told in the last couple weeks, we’ve given out over 60,000 masks across the state -- and we still have more in stock,” Ames said.

More than 100,000 masks meant for patients, their guests and those who need it around the community have been given through drives like this one.

“We’re asking them how many they have in their family and if they have extended family that need masks, and typically we can give them at least two each,” Boustead said.

With masks at times hard to come by, handing these out for free is a blessing.

“I feel like these are good masks, safe masks, whereas the ones we are using are homemade and they don’t fit that well. So I feel a little safer coming here to get these,” said Henry Weiss.

The masks are made out of surgical material and most were handmade by local volunteers and businesses.

CHI Health expects to have another free mask giveaway soon.

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