Mecklenburg County donating 2 million face masks, launching media campaign

Mecklenburg County donating 2 million face masks, launching media campaign
Mecklenburg County donating 2 million face masks, launching media campaign (Source: Mecklenburg County)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Mecklenburg County is donating 2 million face masks and launching a media campaign about the importance of wearing them as coronavirus trends continue to rise.

As North Carolina moves into a mandatory face covering requirement, a public private partnership is trying to ensure Mecklenburg County residents have access to them.

Mecklenburg County Manager Dena Diorio says she’s pleased Gov Cooper enacted the face-covering requirement so they didn’t have to act locally.

“Our board particularly believes the state’s requirements are consistent with what we would have done locally,” Diorio said.

Mecklenburg County is teaming with Atrium Health and the Charlotte Executive Leadership Council to distribute 2 million face masks to those in Mecklenburg County who need them, especially those disproportionately impacted by the virus.

As of Friday afternoon, there have been 9,427 confirmed coronavirus cases in Mecklenburg County, and 148 deaths.

One million were donated to the county earlier this week from the federal government, with another million gathered by Atrium Health and multiple businesses members of the Charlotte Executive Leadership Council (CELC).

Diorio also said the county is making sure that face coverings are available to small businesses, nonprofits and faith-based communities.

The county is also being assisted by VOAD -- Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster -- to distribute masks to places in need.

In addition to the two million masks being distributed now, Diorio also says the Board of County Commissioners has appropriated $1 million from the County’s federal CARES funds to purchase additional face coverings.

“We are getting our plans together now and hope to get something in place in short order.,” Diorio said. “We will make sure everyone in the county has face masks if they need one.”

Diorio said the county will also launch a new campaign -- called Count on Me CLT -- which focuses on the three W’s.

The campaign is scheduled to go on for 12 weeks across radio and other media and billboards.

The county is pushing residents and visitors to wear face makes, wash hands and wait six feet apart.

“The main purpose is to raise awareness of the three W’s,” Diorio said.

Billboards will go up across Mecklenburg County that will focus on communities disproportionately impacted by coronavirus, including young adults, African-Americans, Hispanics, the elderly and the LBGTQ community.

“Again, we want to eliminate the lack of availability as a reason not to wear one of the key items we know will keep people safe,” said Diorio. “The County is proud to partner with the CELC and their contributing members including, Atrium Health, Bank of America, BlueCross BlueShield, Carolina Panthers, Honeywell, Lowes, Red Ventures, and Wells Fargo for their contributions. I also want to thank Novant Health for their efforts to distribute masks since the pandemic began.”

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