In response to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Chicago has joined the State of Illinois in issuing a Stay at Home order effective Saturday, March 21st at 5pm CT. In addition, City of Chicago facilities are closed to the public. Staff are prioritizing essential services to protect the health and safety of our residents and employees. As such, we may be delayed in responding to non-essential inquiries and service requests. To stay up to date on the City of Chicago’s COVID-19 response, please visit the City Coronavirus Response Center site.
CHICAGO – Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) today announced that the City of Chicago is launching the “Chicago Together! Make a Mask, Give a Mask, Wear a Mask” citywide cloth mask drive on Saturday, April 25, 2020. Through the citywide drive, residents can make and donate homemade cloth masks that will be provided to homeless shelters, community health clinics, and other organizations to prevent outbreaks among the City’s most high-risk residents, which data has shown to be vulnerable residents on Chicago’s South and West Side communities.
“The COVID-19 crisis has been hard on all of us, but it’s shown the impact we all have on each other — strangers and friends alike. We are all in this together and donation drive like this represent Chicago at its finest, as we respond to a crisis in unison and keep our most vulnerable residents safe,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “The more we do for each other, the faster we’ll get through this crisis, which is why I’m asking all Chicagoans to donate homemade cloth masks to support our fellow residents who are most vulnerable.”
The citywide donation drive is designed to provide masks to Chicago’s vulnerable residents, further building on Mayor Lightfoot’s a hyper-focused strategy centered around deep, consistent education and outreach to communities most adversely impacted by COVID-19. As part of this effort, masks will also go to addiction treatment providers, social service providers, group homes and long-term care facilities to support residents in need.
“We are humbled by the generosity of our residents from communities throughout the city who have asked how they can help support the City’s COVID-19 relief efforts,” said OEMC Executive Director Rich Guidice. “This is a very simple, yet concrete way for residents looking for ways to contribute to the City’s COVID-19 response to show they care and get involved.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued guidance recommending the use of cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. The use of the cloth face coverings is meant to help prevent people who have the virus and may not know it from transmitting it to others.
The Chicago Department of Public Health has included the CDC Guidelines on How to Make a Cloth Mask at chicago.gov/coronavirus. Masks can be made from recycled cloth such as t-shirts, bandanas, jeans, thick cotton and other breathable fabrics.
To be sure masks are protective, the City urges residents to read the guidance carefully, including, among many other things, by their washing hands frequently while making the masks, washing and drying the fabric before starting and using three layers of fabric.
Completed masks should be placed in a clear, sealable plastic bag. When residents are dropping off the masks, they must put them in tightly closed, clean boxes or bags while wearing gloves and a mask. Residents should indicate the quantity they will be donating.
Drop Off Locations
Donations will be accepted at the following locations from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Tuesdays and Saturdays beginning Saturday, April 25 through Saturday, May 16.
Participating Churches as part of the First Ladies Health Initiative (FLHI)
The City will pick up the donated cloth masks and deliver them to the United Center, where they will be included in kits packed by TEAM Rubicon, a veteran-led global disaster response organization and distributed as needed. For a full list of sites to donate masks to, visit: chicago.gov/coronavirus
The Chicago Department of Public Health has more information about face masks here. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City launched the Stay Home, Save Lives campaign to inform residents about how they can stay healthy and do their part to bend the curve of the virus. For more information and updates on COVID-19, text COVID19 to 78015, residents are encouraged to visit Chicago.gov/coronavirus.
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