Sacramento to distribute an additional 200,000 N95 masks

The city was near to ending the program as their initial supply dwindled


Brittney Delgado - The State Hornet

More than 7,000 N95 masks were given to the city of Sacramento and handed out by local fire stations with an additional 200,000 being sent Friday. Sacramento Fire Station No. 8 had people coming in and out to pick up masks all day.

Margherita Beale and Cory Jaynes

As air quality remains “very unhealthy” due to smoke from the Butte County Camp Fire, Sacramento has received an additional 200,000 N95 masks from the California Department of Public Health.

Mask distribution began Sunday when the city received an initial supply of 7,500 from Sacramento County Emergency Medical and Health Coordinator.

The N95 masks will continue to be distributed at operational fire stations in the city, according to a news release from the City of Sacramento.

“To focus accessibility to the residents, we did 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.,” said Daniel Bowers, Sacramento director of emergency management. “It was to get the masks in the hands to folks during the best times that they’re available.”

The Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District, which serves unincorporated areas of Sacramento, has stopped distributing masks in accordance with a statement from the Sacramento County Public Health Officer that said the use of the N95 masks was not recommended.

The city’s mask supply was running low Thursday and a press release that same day said that the city was prepared to discontinue mask distribution.

According to Sacramento Media and Communications Manager Tim Swanson, the California Department of Public Health fulfilled a request from the city with an additional 200,000 masks.

“The city has made the masks available as a courtesy to its residents, [but] it’s up to each person to decide if they want to use a mask or not,” Swanson said. “The city recommends they should consult county, state and federal guidelines or contact a medical provider.”

According to Swanson, the city and county of Sacramento are in agreement that the best course of action to take is to stay inside and limit time spent outside.