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Washington Mask Challenge encourages making, donating masks

In this screengrab, a Ken Griffey Jr. statue with a mask is seen during All In WA: A Concert For COVID-19 Relief on June 24, 2020 in Washington. (Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images for All In WA)

Lieutenant Governor Cyrus Habib launched the Washington Mask Challenge nearly two months ago as a statewide initiative to encourage Washingtonians to make, wear, and donate homemade cloth face coverings to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Lt. Governor Cyrus Habib launches Washington Mask Challenge

With Gov. Inslee and Secretary of Health John Wiesman’s statewide public health order taking effect Friday that requires masks or face coverings to be worn in all public settings, the challenge is even more relevant than before.

There are multiple ways to participate. If you’re able to commit to making at least 10 masks, you can find instructions to follow on Washington Mask Challenge’s website using household materials. Habib said you can make these face coverings out of inexpensive items at home, such as bed sheets or T-shirts.

You can also request fabric to make masks, though it’s asked that you pledge to make a minimum of 100.

There’s a form to fill out so the office can track all mask donations, and you’ll be contacted by email with instructions for sending your masks to an organization in need.

If you are part of an organization that needs masks, you can request them online.

Habib and the state have teamed up with United Way and Serve Washington for this challenge. The partnership will facilitate homemade mask donations from the general public to organizations in need, such as nursing homes, homeless shelters, food banks, and others that regularly work with high-risk populations.

Early in the pandemic, there was confusion whether people should be wearing face masks. Now, health officials have said masks will be a vital part of our path forward. Since people can be asymptomatic with COVID-19, you may be spreading the virus without knowing.

“A cloth mask is mostly about showing you care about somebody else, that you want to prevent yourself from infecting another person,” Gov. Inslee said.

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