Wednesday Mayor Joe Hogsett issued a statement encouraging Indianapolis residents to sign up to receive free face masks.
Mayor Joe Hogsett reminded residents who don’t currently have a face covering to sign up now in order to receive one, free of charge, in the coming days. To date, the City has received requests for over 18,000 face coverings from Indianapolis neighbors. The first shipment arrived this week, with residents starting to receive them next week. Additionally, Mayor Hogsett announced a partnership with the American Red Cross – Indiana Region and homeless service provider Horizon House that will allow the City to distribute masks across existing social service networks.
“Face coverings are a critical tool for helping to keep our community safe, even as we continue to reopen sectors of the local economy,” said Mayor Hogsett. “This program makes it possible for residents to protect themselves and their neighbors and I encourage anyone having a difficult time purchasing a face covering to log on now and request one through our indy.gov website.”
“Wearing face coverings is one of the most important steps residents can take to slow the spread of COVID-19,” said Marion County Public Health Director Dr. Virginia Caine. “This program is a user-friendly way to continue bringing down our rate of infection.”
Those interested in requesting a free face covering can do so at indy.gov/masks. They are intended for Marion County adult residents unable to purchase their own. The City has appropriated $3 million to the program as part of funding from the federal CARES Act. A picture of the mask design is attached.
The City is also partnering with the Indianapolis Arts Council on the #MaskUpIndy public art campaign. The City will commission six original art pieces that will be utilized on social, digital, and community platforms, and raise awareness and remind residents about the public health benefits of wearing masks. More information about the selected artists will be released in the coming days.
The free face covering program and the #MaskUpIndy campaign are both components of a larger fiscal package made up of federal CARES Act and FEMA funding, totaling nearly $80 million. The package, which was passed by the City-County Council on Monday of this week, also includes expanded contract tracing, economic recovery and social service programs aimed at getting vulnerable residents back on their feet, and tools that will make key government services more accessible to residents.