City of Sydney hands out free masks to disadvantaged

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore distributing free face masks at OzHarvest Market, Waterloo on 25 September. Photo: Renee Nowytarger/City of Sydney.

The City of Sydney Council has announced the distribution of more than 20,000 face masks to Sydney’s most vulnerable residents, in a bid to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

A total of 23,000 free, reusable masks are being handed out to social housing residents, boarding house tenants and rough sleepers as part of the $200,000 initiative, said Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore. 

“When maintaining physical distancing is hard, we should all be wearing a face mask. But not everyone is able to buy them,” Moore said in a media statement. 

“The City of Sydney has purchased cloth reusable masks for the most vulnerable in our community … The masks are made from three-ply material and meet the guidelines produced by the World Health Organisation,” she said.

“We worked with an Australian manufacturer, ClothMaskMe, who provided the masks at cost price, as they were keen to support such an important cause.”

The Lord Mayor said the council was partnering with local health districts, other government agencies and community organisations to ensure the masks were delivered quickly and safely. 

Sydney Local Health District Chief Executive, Dr Teresa Anderson, commended the moves.

“We know the key ways to protect ourselves and the community are by socially distancing, sanitising or washing our hands and using masks, so we applaud this initiative by the City of Sydney,” she said. 

The NSW Government has released guidelines on mask use, including instructions on how to make your own reusable cloth mask

While the government recommends face masks in situations where it is hard to maintain a minimum distance of 1.5 metres from others, it stresses that face masks are no substitute for good hand hygiene and physical distancing. 

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