Mask donation drive held in Minneapolis day before required mask policy takes effect

A Minneapolis firefighter shows a bag of cloth face masks that were collected during a donation drive Monday. (FOX 9)

In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Cty of Minneapolis kicked off a donation drive Monday to collect homemade face masks at fire stations across the city.

The move comes just days after Mayor Jacob Frey announced that cloth masks will be mandatory at all indoor spaces in the city. This includes retail stores, hotels and government buildings. The measure applies to anyone over the age of two years old. Minneapolis will soon be in line with other cities across the country that have adopted similar mask requirements, including New York and Denver. To raise awareness, there’s also a social media campaign dubbed #MaskUpMPLS. 

“We realized that this concept of wearing a mask is new to people too, so we want to make sure that it’s easy and as convenient as possible,” said Frey.

The collected face coverings will be donated to shelters, food shelves and other organizations that are in positions to help those in need. Monday afternoon, the Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Lynx pitched in by donating 1,000 masks towards the cause. 

“People in Minneapolis have a core value of looking out for one another,” said Frey. “And wearing this mask is the least we can do. It’s looking out at people who are higher risks than ourselves and we want to make that it is as convenient as possible for people to have a mask.”

Of the 745 new COVID-19 cases in Minnesota reported Monday, 253 of those cases are out of Hennepin County. That accounts for the highest number of newly reported cases in the state.

Mayor Frey says that anyone who refuses to wear a face covering in indoor spaces could face a citation and up to $1,000 in fines. The measure takes effect Tuesday, starting at 5 p.m.