DeKalb County will distribute 50,000 masks and hand sanitizer to residents beginning this weekend, July 11 and 12, to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond has directed DeKalb County Police and Fire Rescue personnel and other county employees to distribute COVID-19 care packets containing two disposable nonsurgical masks and a container of hand sanitizer, along with a card with tips on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

According to the county, packets will be distributed in economically disadvantaged communities that the DeKalb County Board of Health has identified as experiencing the highest number of COVID-19 infections.

At its meeting on July 14, DeKalb County Board of Commissioners will consider adopting an ordinance requiring masks to be worn in public. Some DeKalb cities either have passed or are considering similar legislation.

“Although I wholeheartedly support mask mandates that do not carry criminal penalties or fines, my concern is that thousands of our residents will be forced to choose between purchasing a mask or purchasing food or other necessities,” Thurmond said.

DeKalb County has the third highest number of confirmed cases with more than 7,973 at the time of publishing. According to the Georgia Department of Health, DeKalb has had 177 confirmed deaths from the coronavirus.

Residents experiencing headache, fever, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches, loss of sense of smell or taste, or sore throat, are urged to call 404-294-3700, Option 1, to be scheduled for a test for COVID-19.

For more information about COVID-19, visit www.dekalbcountyga.gov/coronavirus

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