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LA County To Purchase, Give Away 3 Million Cloth Face Masks

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) -- The L.A. County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted to buy and distribute three million cloth face masks in the next 90 days.

Supervisors Sheila Kuehl and Hilda Solis co-wrote the motion, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

"It's a proven strategy, along with (social) distancing...and washing our hands and washing our hands and washing our hands,'' Kuehl said. "We want to eliminate any financial barriers people might face that would keep them from having a mask and using it.''

Kuehl also cited a USC poll that found more than 20 percent of L.A. County residents are concerned about running out of money over the next three months, and more than 10 percent worry they will run out of food.

Residents who live and work in areas most affected by COVID-19 will be the priority to receive masks. Kuehl and Solis said they would like to source the masks locally.

CEO Sachi Hamai said the county is working with state officials, and she expected they will either provide some funding or the masks themselves.

Solis reminded the public of the importance of wearing a mask, which is now required by state law.

"Without a vaccine, the most effective way to slow the spread ofCOVID-19 is to wear a face covering when outside and around others who are not members of your household,'' Solis said. "L.A. County recognizes that many families are financially struggling. For many, purchasing a face covering for all family members can be a hefty expense. With today's motion, L.A. County will ramp up efforts in ensuring our most vulnerable communities receive a cloth face mask so they can protect themselves, their communities, and family members from this highly contagious virus.''

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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