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Dane County to purchase and deliver 100,000 free face masks to local organizations

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masked parisi
Jacob Karb/WKOW
Dane County Executive Joe Parisi
Jacob Karb/WKOW
A representative of Dane County Mask Makers spoke during the announcement of the mask initiative.

MADISON (WKOW) -- There is a community-wide effort underway to help ensure all Dane County residents have access to face masks during the coronavirus pandemic.

A number of Dane County departments have teamed together to establish a cloth mask procurement and distribution system.

The Departments of Public Health, Emergency Management, Human Services, and the Dane County Library System are working to get masks out to community centers, churches, schools, food pantries, and other settings that can reach underserved communities and those who may be unable to afford masks.

“Dane County has worked with our community partners to set up the most extensive free mask distribution system in the region,” said County Executive Parisi in a news release. “We want to keep people safe, especially those already struggling to meet basic needs like food and shelter. This effort will improve local access to masks and help our community slow the spread of COVID-19.”

The Department of Emergency Management is in the process of handing out 100,000 masks to community partners, with about 65,745 of those masks already out in the community. So far, Dane County has spent $150,000 on masks and has partnered with nearly 100 organizations to distribute them.

Dane County is also partnering with Dane County Mask Makers to facilitate small mask orders (10 or less) and individual cloth mask requests. The masks the organization provides are free and come from community donations. To learn more or volunteer, visit

Dane County’s face mask distribution effort comes as Public Health Madison & Dane County’s in-door face mask order took effect Monday, July 13. The order requires everyone age 5 and older to wear a face covering or mask when in any enclosed building where other people, except for members of the person’s own household or living unit, could be present.

Emily Friese

27 News Producer

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