JERSEY CITY, NJ - Hudson County officials will seek to purchase a minimum of 500,000 surgical face masks- estimated cost $1 each to be made available to the public. The cost would be covered by federal funds designated for fighting the spread of COVID-19.

“They can be distributed through county and local agencies as well as nonprofits,” Freeholder Bill O’Dea suggested. “While the State requires all shoppers to wear masks, it does not require the stores to have them on hand to give out or sell. Since the health professionals have identified the wearing of the masks as a major resource in fighting the spread of the virus it should be allowable.”

O’Dea said Hudson County has a sizable low income population who may not be able to easily access these masks as well as large numbers of senior citizens who  may not have the ability to pick them up or go buy them as they shelter in place. Not being able to acquire them doesn't negate the need for them to wear them if they need to go out, he added.

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“The Office of Emergency Management could work in putting a plan of distribution,” O’Dea said “They also can be available on an ongoing basis at entrances to all our public buildings, parks, etc. for what appears to be months more of them being required.”

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