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Gov. Walz kicks off week-long homemade mask drive

Minnesotans are being encouraged by the governor's office to create homemade masks for use by the workers and residents of local congregate living facilities.
Credit: AP
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz prepares to deliver his delayed State of the State address over YouTube from his residence in St. Paul, Minn., Sunday, April 5, 2020. (Glen Stubbe/Star Tribune via AP, Pool)

ST PAUL, Minn. — The Office of Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan announced on Saturday a statewide, week-long homemade mask drive to aid residents and workers within local congregate living facilities on the frontline of fighting COVID-19.

The move is an attempt to shine a spotlight on the importance of essential workers particularly at risk of catching the coronavirus. 

In a press release issued Saturday, Walz said, “Those working in congregate living facilities are on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. While homemade masks will not replace personal protective equipment, they go a long way in preventing the wearer’s germs from infecting others. I am asking Minnesota’s crafters, sewers, and creatives to step up and help out their community.”

Participating Minnesotans are asked to donate their homemade masks to their local fire departments on April 25 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. - which will then be delivered to congregate facilities in need. 

“As Minnesotans, we have always come together to help each other through hard times. Wearing a mask is one of the ways we can protect each other. I am grateful for Minnesotans’ time, generosity, and talent, and I look forward to seeing the donations come in next Saturday.” Flanagan said. 

Instructions for how to assemble the masks can be found here.

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The state of Minnesota has set up a hotline for general questions about coronavirus at 651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903, available 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

There is also a data portal online at mn.gov/covid19.