The InMaricopa team has distributed over 1,500 surgical masks to over 500 vehicles by drive-through, with the highest number of residents driving by on Friday afternoon.
On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, InMaricopa staff set up a table and canopy to distribute surgical facemasks to residents of Maricopa. The team has distributed three masks per vehicle from noon to 1 p.m. on all three days.
“My sister’s best friend just passed away from it just last week,” said John Drane, a Maricopa resident who picked up face masks this afternoon for his household. “All of my neighbors are home; all the driveways are filled. No one’s out walking or participating in outside activities.”
InMaricopa will be distributing surgical masks again tonight from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the InMaricopa parking lot at 44400 W. Honeycutt Road. Please enter the lot from the westernmost driveway, stay in your vehicle and proceed slowly to the canopy. An InMaricopa staffer will distribute the mask to you.
According to the U.S Food and Drug Administration, surgical masks (or facemasks), are meant to help protect others from the individual wearing said mask. They also help prevent, “large-particle droplets, splashes, sprays or splatter that may contain germs (viruses and bacteria)” by covering the nose and mouth.
Surgical masks are a one-time use. They are meant to be worn once for a person interacting with others in public, or if the individual will be around others who are highly at-risk for illness, and then properly discarded.
InMaricopa is distributing these masks for residents to encourage protection and hygiene as the COVOID-19 pandemic continues.
Bob Watts is another Maricopa resident who picked up facemasks for his family while running errands.
“I have a cousin back in Kentucky who lost one of her cousins to coronavirus last week, and another one right now is infected,” Watts said. “Her cousins live in Florida.”
On March 31, Gov. Doug Ducey issued a stay-at-home order for Arizona, citing essential businesses and services that would remain functional during the order. The order was updated on April 3 to shut down salons, barbers, and other close-contact services until the executive order is lifted.
In the state of Arizona, there have been 6,045 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 266 related deaths. In Pinal County, there have been a total of 317 total cases and nine deaths. The highest number of cases in Arizona is in Maricopa County, with 3,116 confirmed and 120 deaths.
The Centers for Disease Control have released numerous guidelines regarding social distancing, hygiene and sanitation, and what to do if you are sick.
CDC guidelines regarding masks and hygiene:
- “Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public”
- “Continue to keep about six feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing.”
- “Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.”
- “Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.”
“I think it’s going to make us really understand who keeps the economy working,” said Watts. “We don’t give enough credit to the people in the stores, the people delivering goods, and health workers. I think it’s going to make us look at the way we treat people and especially people who are working for us.”
Gov. Ducey has expressed no future decision regarding the stay-at-home, stating he will re-evaluate the state of Arizona on April 30 when the original order expires.
To continue to grow our local coverage of COVID-19’s impact on Maricopa in the difficult weeks to come while continuing our day-to-day newsgathering, we are partnering with the Local Media Association’s foundation to ask our readers to help with a tax-deductible donation at GiveButter.com/inmaricopa.