Arlington Distributes 275,000 Free Masks to Public During One-Day Drive-Thru Event
By Susan Schrock, Office of Communication
Posted on July 16, 2020, July 16, 2020

The City of Arlington distributed 275,000 protective face masks to the public for free during a one-day, drive-thru event on Thursday.
The City of Arlington distributed 275,000 protective face masks to the public for free during a one-day, drive-thru event on Thursday.

This was the third mask giveaway organized by the City since May as part of ongoing efforts to fight the spread of COVID-19 and help the economy recover. Boxes of 50 masks, provided by Tarrant County, were handed out on a first-come, first-serve basis over a five-hour period in the parking lot of AISD’s Dan Dipert Career and Technical Center. At least 100,000 masks had been given out within the first two hours of the event.

“We have a wonderful citizenry that cares deeply about protecting the health of themselves, their families and others,” Deputy City Manager Jim Parajon said. “The number of people who are in line to pick up masks today is an indication of that and also demonstrates the very significant need in our community for additional protective masks.”

Because of the tremendous response Thursday, Arlington is working to obtain additional masks for a future giveaway, Parajon said. Details would be announced on the City’s website and social media.

Even after waiting in long lines, several residents waved and cheerfully called out their thanks to the dozens of city employees distributing the boxes of masks. The Texas Rangers also provided about 2,000 cloth masks that were handed out as well.

“It’s such a blessing,” said Cheryl Jackson-Aaron, one of the thousands of residents who came out for Thursday’s event. “We’ve got two granddaughters living with us. I was really worried about them going back to school without masks.”

Crystal Franco, who lives near the AISD campus, stopped by the event to pick up masks for her family.

“It’s a good way to help us stay protected and we don’t have an excuse not to wear one,” Franco said.

Masks and face coverings are important tools in slowing the spread of the coronavirus. Because of a recent rise in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, both Tarrant County and the State have issued orders requiring the use of masks or face coverings at businesses or in public where social distancing is not possible. The county order, in effect through 6 a.m. Aug. 3, 2020, applies to all entities in Tarrant County that provide goods or services directly to the public.

The City of Arlington is working to ensure the health and safety of residents, visitors and businesses during this public health emergency.
Arlington has previously distributed approximately 200,000 protective masks, which were also provided by Tarrant County, as part of the City’s Roadmap to Reopen and Recover.

For more information about the City’s fight against COVID-19 or resources available to residents and businesses in our community, please visit www.arlingtontx.gov/coronavirus.

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