DeKalb city donating 6,000 masks to assisted living homes, local businesses

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Wearing a mask, Tony Brown, a barber at Brown’s Barber Shop in Athens, uses a disinfectant wipe to sanitize his chair after serving a client at the shop. (ALYSSA POINTER / ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM)

By J.D. Capelouto

The city of Tucker plans to distribute 6,000 surgical-grade masks to people and businesses that need them most.

The masks, which are expected to be doled out this week, will first be made available to assisted living facilities and other long-term care homes that have positive cases of COVID-19, Tucker Mayor Frank Auman said Friday.

They will also be given to local businesses that need them for employees or customers, as well as members of the general public “who would like to have a mask of the highest protective type to wear when they need to go out of the house and into the community,” Auman said in a statement.

Tucker has not yet provided specifics on how the masks will be distributed, but that information is expected to be released this week.

The city is paying for the masks using public funds that have not been spent because of the coronavirus.

“Over the past few days, I’ve been reviewing our finances with the city’s (chief financial officer) and other professional staff and we’ve identified several programs and line items where we won’t be spending budgeted funds due to the virus,” Auman said.

Auman said during a “state of the city” address Friday that although the pandemic “makes the current state of our lives unstable to say the least,” the state of the city government itself is strong.

“It’s vibrant, it’s serving its citizens well,” the mayor said. “We are prepared for the future.”

DeKalb County also plans to distribute 10,000 masks to members of the public over the next several weeks.

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