The City of Tampa is giving away 355,000 face masks, as Florida passes 1 million new coronavirus cases

No ID is required, and residents can pick up two face coverings each.

click to enlarge The City of Tampa is giving away 355,000 face masks, as Florida passes 1 million new coronavirus cases
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One day after Florida surpassed 1 million coronavirus cases, the City of Tampa is once again distributing face coverings, gratis, to its residents.

The city announced it will be giving away 355,000 face masks starting this Thursday, Dec. 3 through Saturday, Dec. 5, while supplies last. Residents can pick up the face coverings from 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m. at the following locations:

  • Himes Ave. Complex 4501 S. Himes Ave.
  • MacFarlane Park 700 N. MacDill Ave.
  • Al Barnes Park 2902 N. 32nd St.
  • New Tampa Community Center 17302 Commerce Park Blvd.

No ID is required, and residents can pick up two face coverings each.

“The continued use of face coverings is critical to flattening the curve of COVID-19 in our community,” said Mayor Jane Castor in a statement. “It’s important that we remain vigilant in our safety precautions and practice those simple healthy habits to protect not only just ourselves, but all our loved ones and community members around us.”

Businesses can request to pick up the necessary quantities of face coverings for staff and customers. Tampa businesses who wish to secure face coverings for staff and customers should email the following information to [email protected]:

  • Company Name
  • Company Contact (first and last name)
  • Full address of company (including zip code)
  • Company Contact phone number
  • Preferred location to pick up (Al Barnes, Himes Sports Complex, Barksdale Senior Activity Center at Macfarlane Park or New Tampa)
  • Date of pick up (Dec. 3, 4 or 5)
  • Quantity Requested

The city distributed over 400,000 free face coverings last June.

Today’s announcement comes after Dr. Edwin Michael, a University of South Florida professor and epidemiologist, told Hillsborough County commissioners on Wednesday that the Tampa Bay region may have averted up to 1.4 million additional cases of COVID-19 because of face mask mandates from local governments.

Hillsborough County requires face masks in businesses where social distancing is not possible, but despite experiencing 58,749 new COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic, the county cannot hand out any fines to violators because of a September order from Gov. DeSantis blocking local governments from doing so. 

“I’m opposed to mandates, period,” said DeSantis said during a news conference Monday. “I don’t think they work. People in Florida wear them (masks) when you go out. I mean, they don’t have to be strung up by a bayonet to do it. Fining people, I think, is totally overboard.”

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About The Author

Thomas Holton

Thomas Holton is a journalism student at the University of Florida with an interest in music, culture, and Florida.

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