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Free masks still available in Sullivan County

J. H. Osborne • May 29, 2020 at 2:00 PM

BLOUNTVILLE — The Sullivan County Regional Health Department, along with several partners, continues to provide free face masks to the public.

Where?

The masks are available at the health department’s Blountville office and its Kingsport location at the corner of Wilcox Drive and East Sullivan Street. Other agencies that have been distributing the masks include the University of Tennessee’s Agricultural Extension Office, the city of Bristol, the city of Kingsport (through the KATS office at Main Street and East Sullivan Street), and Bluff City. 

If you want a mask you can call the health department at 279-2777. But you don’t need an appointment and don’t have to call. They’re available for walk-ins.

“We want to make sure that anybody who wants a mask gets a mask,” Sullivan County Regional Health Department Director Gary Mayes said. “We’ve distributed many to churches, We’ve also distributed them at farmers markets in both Bristol and Kingsport. We’ve provide d them to school systems for faculty and staff. But the primary focus is on getting them to individuals.”

Why wear one?

Reopening guidelines include the wearing of masks. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is encouraging all Americans, even those who feel healthy, to wear a cloth face mask in public.

“The purpose behind requesting everyone to wear a mask is to protect others, your family, your friends, your coworkers,” Mayes said. “It minimizes spread of the disease .... if you’re wearing a mask it minimizes the spread and the projection of droplets. It is prudent for everyone to wear a mask to protect others.”

More than 300,000 mask are currently being distributed throughout Tennessee as part of Gov. Bill Lee’s Unified-Command to curb the spread of the coronavirus. The Sullivan County Health Department and its partners have distributed thousands of masks from its state-issued supply in recent weeks, and distribution will continue while supplies last.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is encouraging all Americans, even those who feel healthy, to wear a cloth face mask in public.

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