SPOKANE, Wash. — Masks are now mandatory for everyone in Washington state, and health officials are pointing to their use as an effective way of curbing coronavirus spread.
To help small businesses and nonprofits in Spokane County operate safely, Greater Spokane Incorporate (GSI) and the county are distributing free personal protective equipment (PPE) beginning Monday, June 29.
To date, the Spokane County Board of Commissioners has allocated more than $2 million in federal CARES Act funding to purchase PPE for small businesses, nonprofits, county employees and courthouse visitors.
A recovery task force led by GSI and the county are working to finalize the details of a free PPE distribution event called "OPENTogether." Businesses and nonprofits with 49 or fewer employees qualify for the free supplies, including hand sanitizer, disinfecting cleaner, disposable face masks and cloth face coverings.
The event will take place at the Spokane County Fairgrounds, located at 404 N. Havana Street in Spokane Valley, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on June 29 through July 2. Businesses that qualify must register online prior to pick-up.
Hundreds of volunteers are also needed to hand out masks at the fairgrounds. People can register online to volunteer individually or as teams.
“This distribution of PPE is just one of the next steps necessary to get Spokane County into and beyond Phase 3. Businesses and nonprofits throughout our region have made it clear that they are ready to follow strict guidelines for use of personal protective equipment and sanitation practices," Spokane County Commissioner Al French said in a prepared statement.
"As a Board, our focus is to do everything we can to get our economy rolling again safely. We will continue to look for ways to do this as we determine future allocations of the federal CARES Act funding," French added.