MONTPELIER, Vt. – Gov. Phil Scott announced that the state of Vermont will distribute up to 300,000 cloth face coverings to the public, emergency responders, and select agencies throughout the month of August. The State Emergency Operations Center procured the masks from those donated to the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
As of Aug. 1, face coverings are mandatory in all public places in Vermont. While wearing a mask is not a substitute for physical distancing and other mitigation measures, public health experts advise that masks help limit the spread of COVID-19 and should be worn in public when physical distancing is not possible.
“We’ve made considerable gains in our effort to limit the spread of this virus and it’s critical that we protect this progress by following all public health guidelines, including wearing a mask,” said Scott. “I’m so proud of Vermonters for stepping up to keep their families, friends, and neighbors safe, and I’m thankful to our federal, state, and local partners who are helping to get these free masks to communities across the state.”
Vermont Emergency Management, the Health Department, the Agency of Transportation, and the Vermont National Guard are facilitating the distribution effort. Around 200,000 masks have already gone out or will soon go out to towns, school nurses, community action agencies, the Vermont Department of Health Equity Team, and district offices, emergency response agencies, the Vermont National Guard, and food distribution sites.
Vermonters may access these free face coverings through their towns. Municipalities are responsible for distributing the masks and many are working with their emergency services departments to aid in that effort.
To obtain a facemask, please visit www.vem.vermont.gov/maskdistribution to find your local contact. If your town is not listed, then your local officials may have not requested their allotment or provided contact information.