Hattiesburg, Mississippi – Due to the generosity of Spartan Mosquito, a local Hattiesburg Business, 60,000 masks were donated to the City of Hattiesburg, Forrest County and Lamar County governments to distribute to residents at no cost.
“Our latest executive order required that employees at essential businesses wear masks and we also made the recommendation that the general public wears a mask when they are out running essential errands,” said Mayor Toby Barker. “Thanks to this local business, we have been able to take an innovative path forward in putting masks in the hands of many as we continue to navigate life through this pandemic.”
The distribution process for masks was established through the collaboration of the City of Hattiesburg, Forrest County and Lamar County administrations.
Barker added, “The hope is to put masks in as many Pine Belt hands that need them by focusing on essential retail touchpoints (where people are already visiting due to essential needs – i.e. grocery stores, pharmacies, etc.), government and community facilities and reaching vulnerable populations by working with partners in the faith-based sector and community nonprofits.”
When picking up a mask, residents are asked to remember the following guidelines:
- Masks are available at retailer locations on a first-come-first-served basis. If a store is out of masks upon entrance, residents are asked to reach out to the City of Hattiesburg (601-545-4501 during business hours), on Facebook (facebook.com/CityofHattiesburg) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to assess the best place to receive one.
- Residents are asked to not storm retail locations just to get a mask. If a resident doesn’t have one and needs to go to the grocery store or an essential retailer, it can be picked up.
- Social distancing guidelines are still important – even with a mask.
- While no limit will be imposed, residents should only take what is needed.
- Don’t dispose after one use. These are cloth-based masks that meet CDC standards for fabric face covers and are reusable and washable.
Even with a generous donation of product and distribution through existing retailers, facilities and organizations, there still may be gaps that need to be filled. Should someone not be able to find a mask or need a mask, residents are asked to reach out to the City of Hattiesburg (601-545-4501 during business hours), on Facebook (facebook.com/CityofHattiesburg) or email (email@example.com) to assess the best way to pick up a mask.
Beginning this weekend, masks will be available at the following list of retail establishments and government facilities:
CITY OF HATTIESBURG
- Walmart (Hwy 98 and Hwy 49)
- Corner MarketSunflower (All five locations throughout Lamar & Forrest County)
- Target (Hwy 98)
- Lowes (Hwy 98)
- Home Depot (4100 O’Ferrell Street)
- Dollar General Stores (1204 Edwards Street, 1909 Hardy Street, 100 Red Street)
- Walgreens (5093 Hardy Street, 6130 Hardy Street)
- Sullivan Grocery (810 James Street)
- Nathan Jordan’s Palmers Crossing Store
- Fire Station 1 at 810 Main Street
- Fire Station 2 at 1111 Arledge Street
- Fire Station 3 at 53 Academy Drive, Ste 1
- Fire Station 4 at 5033 Hwy 42
- Fire Station 5 at 922 E Hardy Street
- Fire Station 6 at 3804 Montague Boulevard
- Fire Station 7 at 46 Parkway Boulevard
- Fire Station 8 at 104 Lamar Boulevard
- Piggly Wiggly (772 E Main Ave, Lumberton)
- Ramey’s Grocery Store (4233 Rocky Branch Rd, Sumrall & 157 Shelby Speights Dr, Purvis)
- Any Lamar County Volunteer Fire Department (call before) – 601-794-5190
The masks donated by Spartan Mosquito are a basic cloth mask that meet the guidelines established by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, issued on April 3 in response to COVID-19. According to the CDC’s website, those guidelines are listed below for reference:
“CDC is additionally advising the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.
The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.”