Omaha CHI Health gives away 15,000 masks on Saturday

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – Masks have quickly become the summer accessory.

People use them across the country to keep themselves and others healthy during the current pandemic.

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“If we are a community, we need to help each other and be part of that community by protecting others as much as ourselves,” said Arli Boustead, planning and innovation strategist at CHI Health’s Community Benefits Division.

The CDC has recommended wearing a mask if you are in public and cannot keep a safe distance from others.

“If you won’t be able to distance yourself socially, like at a grocery store or anywhere else in the community, it’s important that you proactively think and wear a mask,” said Tina Ames, vice president of marketing and communication with CHI Health’s Community Benefits Division.

At three different locations on Saturday, CHI Health delivered 15,000 masks to people driving in their cars.

“In total, in the past two weeks, we have delivered more than 60,000 masks across the state, and we still have more in stock,” Ames said.

More than 100,000 masks intended for patients, their guests, and those in need in the community have been given through units like this.

“We are asking them how many they have in their family and if they have an extended family that needs masks, and we can typically give them at least two each,” Boustead said.

With masks sometimes hard to come by, distributing them for free is a blessing.

“I feel like these are good masks, safe masks, while the ones we are using are homemade and don’t fit very well. So I feel a little bit safer coming here to get these, “said Henry Weiss.

The masks are made of surgical material and most were handmade by volunteers and local companies.

CHI Health hopes to have another free mask gift soon.