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Public-private partnership made masks available

Local Hy-Vee distributed them for free

In the age of COVID-19, wearing face masks, something only old time bandits once did, has become a key defense against spreading the disease.

Keeping the nose and mouth covered helps prevent the virus from moving from person to person. Masks are especially useful for preventing people who are carrying the virus, but do not feel ill or have any symptoms, from transmitting it to others. Doctors know that the virus can be spread by people who show no symptoms.

Since the pandemic hit Iowa in March, masks have become more and more common. Many people who are handy with a needle and thread have made one not only for themselves, but others as well. Some have turned their masks into real fashion statements.

But what about those who don’t know how to sew and haven’t been able to get a mask?

A recent partnership between Hy-Vee, the federal and state governments, and a major clothing manufacturer made more masks available to the public.

Last Tuesday, cloth masks were given away at 125 Hy-Vee stores, including the one in Fort Dodge. Each of those stores gave away between 500 and 1,000 masks.

The supermarket chain partnered with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Iowa Department of Public Health and HanesBrands.

It was a worthwhile effort that may save lives in the future by preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Hy-Vee demonstrated its commitment to the communities where its stores are located by taking part in this mask distribution effort. We thank the company and its employees for doing so.

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