144,000 disposable masks to be donated to United Way's Facing Forward campaign

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The City of Ottawa says a major donation of personal protective equipment from the Conquer COVID-19 organization will include 144,000 disposable masks for vulnerable residents in the city.

Masks are mandatory in enclosed public spaces in Ottawa, but there are some people for whom masks are not easy to get.

In a memo sent Tuesday afternoon, General Manager of Community and Social Services Donna Gray said the donation from the volunteer-driven organization has been finalized, and will include 144,000 disposable masks, 1,750 face shields, and 336 16 oz. spray bottles of hand sanitizer.

The PPE and sanitizer will go to the United Way of Eastern Ontario's Facing Forward campaign, the memo said.

In addition, Gray said the City's Human Needs Task Force has created a partnership with Ottawa Sews, which will make masks exclusively for community housing residents.

"In one week, Ottawa Sews has already donated 1,400 cloth masks (900 adult and 400 children sized masks)," Gray said.

The City has been asking for donations of handmade cloth masks. Gray said that 125 masks were donated by community members last week.

The masks were given to Debra Dynes Family House, the St. Joe's Women’s Centre and the Westboro Community Kitchen.

The City is asking for cloth masks that are:

  • Made with at least two or three layers of tightly woven fabric but breathable, such as cotton, flannel or quilting cotton
  • Without any seams over mouth and nose through which air may leak
  • Ideally with horizontal pleats to help fit a variety of faces

To donate cloth (non-medical) masks, email donations@ottawa.ca to set up an appointment for drop-off.