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Leon County to distribute 100,000 face masks to local businesses

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Published: Jul. 6, 2020 at 10:31 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Leon County says they, along with the Tallahassee-Leon County Office of Economic Vitality, will begin offering more than 100,000 free face masks to businesses across the county.

The county says the face masks will “help provide a safe experience for employees and customers, all in line with the recommendations of national, state and local health experts.”

“The public health science is clear—face coverings are one of our most effective tools to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus,” said Leon County Administrator Vincent S. Long. “Therefore, by working through OEV and with our local chambers, the County will ensure that cloth masks are available for free to employees and customers who need them.”

Leon County says beginning Tuesday, local businesses will be able to pick up masks from the OEV office on S. Calhoun Street.

For more information, see the full press release from Leon County below.

To further mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and protect the public health of our community, Leon County Government, facilitated by the Tallahassee-Leon County Office of Economic Vitality (OEV), will begin offering for pickup more than 100,000 free face coverings to businesses countywide. Also, OEV will coordinate with local chambers to ensure all businesses are reached. The face coverings will help provide a safe experience for employees and customers, all in line with the recommendations of national, state, and local health experts.

“The public health science is clear—face coverings are one of our most effective tools to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus,” said Leon County Administrator Vincent S. Long. “Therefore, by working through OEV and with our local chambers, the County will ensure that cloth masks are available for free to employees and customers who need them.”

Starting Tuesday, July 7, local businesses can pick up free cloth face coverings at the OEV office located at 315 S. Calhoun Street, Suite 110, Tallahassee, Florida 32301. Pickup hours will be held Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

“The first priority of OEV is to ensure the health and safety of our community and businesses,” said OEV Director Cristina Paredes. “From the third installment of our Business Impact Survey, we saw that one of the top funding needs for local businesses is PPE and we wanted to fulfill that need.”

Businesses, defined as a local employer, nonprofit, association, and place of worship, are eligible for up to 100 face coverings. Local businesses with multiple storefronts are eligible for up to 200 face coverings. Any employee or owner who picks up face coverings must provide the name of business, agree to provide these face coverings to employees and the general public, and have posted the Leon County COVID-19 emergency ordinance notice in a highly visible location of the business.

“The Big Bend Minority Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors, staff and members appreciate the partnership we share with the Tallahassee-Leon County Office of Economic Vitality,” said Antonio Jefferson, Interim President of the Big Bend Minority Chamber of Commerce.” The full impacts on businesses from COVID-19 will not be measurable in the near term, but the one certainty we have is we are all in this together and this mask distribution will provide a needed resource to our members.”

Each local chamber, including the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce, the Capital City Chamber of Commerce and the Big Bend Minority Chamber of Commerce, will also distribute free cloth face coverings to local businesses in need. Starting Tuesday, July 7, free face coverings will be made available for pickup at OEV and each chamber with details listed below.

  • Tallahassee-Leon County Office of Economic Vitality (315 S. Calhoun Street, Suite 110, Tallahassee, FL 32301) Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce (300 E Park Ave., Tallahassee, FL, 32301) Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. – Curbside pickup only at the TalChamber Carport
  • Big Bend Minority Chamber of Commerce (1028 E Park Ave., Tallahassee, FL, 32301) Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Capital City Chamber (1020 Lafayette St., Suite 110, Tallahassee, FL, 32301) – By appointment only, call 850-329-8955

“We appreciate the Office of Economic Vitality providing masks to our residents to help mitigate the spread of Covid-19,” said Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Sue Dick. “The Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce is proud to partner with OEV, the Capital City Chamber of Commerce and the Big Bend Minority Chamber of Commerce to act as a pick up location for those who still need masks for their employees and families.”

Face coverings will be available on a first-come, first-served basis and businesses are eligible for one pickup at this time, but additional offerings from OEV are expected in the future. For additional information about the initiative,  click here. 

Businesses are healthy when you are healthy,” said Capital City Chamber of Commerce President Katrina Tuggerson.

Leon County has also made thousands of face coverings available for pickup at all County library locations during regular hours, listed below. Individuals may request up to 5 face coverings for their household.

  • Main Library (200 West Park Avenue)
  • Dr. B.L. Perry, JR. Branch Library (2817 South Adams Street)
  • Eastside Branch Library (1583 Pedrick Road)
  • Jane G. Sauls Fort Braden Branch Library (16327 Blountstown Highway)
  • Lake Jackson Branch Library (3840 North Monroe Street)
  • Northeast Branch Library (5513 Thomasville Road)
  • Woodville Branch Library (8000 Old Woodville Road)

All County branch libraries are open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. The County main library is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. These additional masks complement the County’s ongoing efforts to distribute cloth face masks at faith-based organizations in southern Leon County, at the FAMU-Bond COVID-19 testing site at Bragg Memorial Stadium and at FDOH’s mobile testing sites throughout the community.

For additional information on COVID-19, the Florida Department of Health has activated a 24/7 COVID-19 call center at (866) 779-6121. Leon County residents can also call the County Health Department at (850) 404-6300, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Also, the best resource for Florida-specific COVID-19 information remains the following FDOH website: www.FLHealth.gov/COVID-19.

Significant updates can always be found updated real-time at www.LeonCountyFL.gov/ei. The County Emergency Information Portal has the most up-to-date and timely critical information right from the Emergency Operations Center.

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