NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The Metro Nashville Public Health Department will distribute masks again beginning Friday after handing out more than 40,000 last weekend.
The distribution of free masks will continue at Hartman Park Community Center, Bellevue Regional Community Center, Smith Springs Community Center and Madison Community Center on Friday, May 29 and Saturday, May 30.
An additional drive-thru location has been set up at the Ford Ice Center’s Bellevue location, at the same days and times as the Metro Parks community centers.
The masks were provided by Governor Bill Lee’s Unified Command Group. Those picking up a mask are asked to practice social distancing measures to limit the spread of the Coronavirus, as masks are not a substitute for social distancing.
The health department said it still has a large supply left and will continue to distribute them over the next few weeks. After they were first handed out earlier this month, the material was criticized, even by state lawmakers. The health department said the masks are not medical grade masks you will seen in an operating room, but are widely accepted by medical professionals and the CDC.
“The masks are recommended, they will lower the risk of infecting others and becoming infected yourself, just like we were saying before the masks were available, tie a bandanna around your face if you don’t have one available,” explained Emergency Preparedness Director Rachel Franklin.
The availability of masks follows the introduction of Metro Public Health Order 4, which asks all people who can safely wear a mask to do so in public settings. The order also requires businesses and facilities open to the public to post signage requesting those entering the facility to wear a mask.
Guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest the use of cloth masks can limit the spread of the virus, particularly by those who are infected but do not have symptoms of COVID-19. Cloth masks should not be worn by children under the age of two or by those who would jeopardize their health or safety by wearing one.
In addition to the wearing of masks, the public is urged to follow the following guidance from the CDC to limit the spread of COVID-19:
- Practice social distancing as defined by the CDC. Do not gather in groups larger than 10.
- Stay at home, unless leaving your home is absolutely necessary because you have medical needs or are an essential worker.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Stay away from others in your home if you are sick.
COVID-19 in Tennessee
(This reflects what the TDH is reporting each day at 2 p.m. CST )