SLO Public Heath asking for cloth mask donations

Oct 19, 2020

The San Luis Obispo County Health Department has put out a call asking for donations of cloth masks.

All Californians are told they need to wear face coverings in high-risk settings, like while shopping. But not everyone is able to easily get a mask.

“Maybe they can’t afford to purchase masks, maybe they are sheltering at home,” said county spokesperson Michelle Shoresman.

The county has launched a program collecting cloth masks to distribute to people who need them. 

“We are asking for all those sewers out there that have madly been sewing masks throughout this pandemic to donate some of their efforts to our members of our community," Shoresman said. 

Drop-off bins are now at seven sheriff and Cal Fire stations throughout the county. Some of the donated masks will be a part of prevention kits going to farm workers.

Shoresman said farm workers are vulnerable given the close proximity to one another in housing, transportation and the fields.

“So rather than giving out paper or surgical masks that are not reusable, we would very much like to be able to provide them with the fabric masks they can wash and reuse," Shoresman said. 

If someone has N-95 or surgical masks, they are asked to call the county health department instead of dropping them off in the bins. 

“We still tend to try to reserve those for health care workers," Shoresman said. "We’ll do an assessment to see if those are masks we can take and use for distribution to health care workers.”

The drop-off bins will be open through November 20, but Shoresman said the need for masks may be around for quite some time.

“There are countries around the world where people wear masks as sort of the standard issue," Shoresman said. "I hope that is not the case; I’ve heard Dr. Borenstein say that she does not see us wearing them forever, but for now and for the next several months, they are going to be a part of our lives.”

Drop off masks between the hours of 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday - Friday, at these locations: 201 Cayucos Drive, Cayucos, CA 934302099 10th Street, Los Osos, CA 93402450 Pioneer Avenue, Nipomo, CA 934441681 Front Street, Oceano, CA 934454671 Broad Street, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401635 North Santa Rosa Street, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405356 N. Main Street, Templeton, CA  93465