THURSDAY, AUGUST 6, 2020
Jackson County is encouraging the wearing of masks to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 by giving away 100,000 masks over the last few weeks.
The masks were handed out to residents in packets of 10 at drive through distribution sites in Grain Valley, Kansas City, Lee’s Summit, Grandview, Raytown, Independence and Blue Springs.
After the distribution events were finished the masks were left with the municipalities to hand out to their communities. Masks were also delivered to Sugar Creek, Buckner and Oak Grove for distribution.
“Wearing a mask has been shown to slow the spread of this deadly disease and will ultimately save lives. Therefore, it is critical that we remove any barriers that could prevent people from wearing them – whether it be cost, accessibility or availability,” said Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr.
Jackson County 2nd District Legislator Ron Finley came up with the idea to obtain large quantities of the masks for distribution.
“COVID-19 is still spreading in our County and we encourage everyone to wear a mask consistent with the health order to protect themselves and the public. Doing so will help keep our community safe, strong and open for business,” Finley said. “I appreciate the support of the County Executive, Legislators and Governor Parson on this project. We are all in this together.”
The Office of Governor Mike Parson supplied the masks through the State Emergency Management Agency.
Parson commented, “I am proud to work with the elected leaders of Jackson County who have been great team players in our collective fight against COVID-19. We share a common priority of keeping our residents healthy and safe. Any resources that the state can provide to maintain that commitment, I am willing to assist to support that effort.”
Local public health directors and hospital officials say wearing a face mask is the most effective and least costly strategy to slow the spread of COVID-19. Combined with social distancing, masks limit the release of infected droplets when talking, coughing and sneezing.
"The science is clear that when we wear masks, we limit the spread of droplets being passed on to others when we talk, cough or sneeze,” said Jackson County Health Department Director Bridgette Shaffer, MPH. “We need compliance with the order to best control the virus. Mask wearing is one of the simplest and least invasive tools we have to protect our families, friends, and neighbors in Jackson County.”
County Executive Frank White, Jr., Legislator Chairman Theresa Galvin, Legislator Ron Finley, Legislator Jalen Anderson, Legislator Jeanie Lauer, Legislator Charlie Franklin and Sheriff Darryl Forte helped with the distribution of masks along with City Mayors, City Council members and Alderman. Several Legislative aides also helped during the distributions: Winifred Jamieson aide to Crystal Williams, Jane Cavanaugh aide to Theresa Galvin, Georgia Sanders aide to Charlie Franklin, Karen Baker aide to Tony Miller.
Several of the Mayors, City Council members and Aldermen in each of the cities helped with the distribution. Among those helping were Grain Valley Mayor Chuck Johnston, Independence Mayor Eileen Weir, Grandview Mayor Leonard Jones, Blue Springs Mayor Carson Ross and Raytown Mayor Mike McDonough.