City of Cedar Rapids seeking donations of cloth face masks

In April, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a recommendation for individuals to wear cloth face coverings in public settings to slow the spread of COVID-19. — Izabela Zaluska/Little Village

The City of Cedar Rapids is asking for donations of cloth face masks, which will be distributed to local service agencies and community members who need them.

Anyone able to sew and donate masks can drop them off at drop-box locations around the city. Donations will be accepted until Friday, May 15.

The drop-boxes are:

• Front lobby of the City Services Center, 500 15th Avenue SW

• City Hall, corner of 1st Avenue SE and 1st Street SE

• Wader Administration Building, 1111 Shaver Road NE

Cedar Rapids Mayor Brad Hart has urged residents to wear a face mask whenever they go out in public. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends individuals to wear cloth face coverings in public settings, like grocery stores, especially in areas with significant community spread.

“Cloth masks that cover your nose and your mouth should always be worn when you’re going out in public, especially grocery stores, home improvement stores, pharmacies or any other retail location that’s open,” Hart said during a Linn County Public Health press conference on April 20. “I’m really asking everyone to commit not to go out to these public places without a mask.”

Mask donations will also be accepted for a food and essential items drive organized by United Way of East Central Iowa. Residents can drop off masks, personal care items, cleaning supplies and food items to support older adults impacted by COVID-19.

The food and essential items drive will be held at Lindale Mall on May 1 from 4 to 6 p.m., and on May 2 and 3 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Tutorials on how to make cloth masks can be found at various websites, including the CDC, UnityPoint Health and Mercy Cedar Rapids.

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