(TNS) - Free non-surgical masks and face shields will soon available to local businesses, institutions, or even protest groups from the Kansas Department of Emergency Management, via the local emergency management office.
Reno County Emergency Management Director Adam Weishaar advised of the availability Tuesday during a weekly conference call on COVID-19.
Forms should be available by next week for local entities to apply, Weishaar said. They'll likely be available at the Reno County Health Department, which is open to the public.
"It can be any business, big or small, or any large venue," he said. "It's even to if you're holding a protest, we'll provide masks as well."
Depending on the response, however, it could become a "huge undertaking" for local officials to supply the masks, he said, potentially requiring securing storage.
"A 30-day supply is 100,000 masks and 30,000 gowns," Weishaar said. "We're supposed to request a 90-day supply, but we'll see how the first 30 days go. If we really have to request a 90-day supply, we may have to figure out a distribution location or storage source."
The masks are not high-quality N-95 masks, he said, but three-ply non-surgical masks now available to general consumers.
"I don't think the quality is any better, but you save time and cost getting them," Weishaar said.
"The health department is putting together a more streamlined form, so we ask people to hold tight and not request them yet," Weishaar said. "We won't start supplying them until next week."
The masks are not available for individuals to request, but a business can request them to supply to customers. There is no minimum or maximum request.
"Locally we encourage individuals in public to wear masks, whether in a public setting or business," he said.
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