Iowa City Transit offering free cloth face masks for bus riders

City of Iowa City

Iowa City Transit is offering free cloth masks for bus riders, the agency announced on Wednesday. Last week, Iowa City Transit asked riders to start wearing cloth face masks on city buses to help limit the spread of COVID-19.

Supply is limited for the free masks. As of Wednesday morning, the agency has 175 ready to be given out.

“The cloth masks are available at the City’s Parking Office, 335 Iowa Avenue, until supplies run out,” Iowa City Transit said in a statement. “The office is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. One mask per customer.”

The masks were sewn and donated by Iowa City’s Old Capitol Quilters Guild.

On April 3, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a statement recommending “wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.” The recommendation was based on new studies that showed “a significant portion of individuals with coronavirus lack symptoms (‘asymptomatic’) and that even those who eventually develop symptoms (‘pre-symptomatic’) can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms.”

The CDC has posted a short video showing how to make a cloth mask out of common household items such as rubber bands, scarfs, bandannas or T-shirts.