Local Cities Host Mask Drives in Effort to Curb Spread of COVID-19
Businesses looking to comply with Minnesota’s new statewide mask mandate had the opportunity to pick up masks at no charge from distribution sites across the state on Thursday.
“I think it’s a good idea,” said Teddy Nachmias, franchise owner of the New Hope Dunkin’ Donuts. “Because as businesses are struggling, you try to provide your customers the best, safe environment. I know that some [customers] are coming without masks, and it’s very nice to offer them a mask.”
Nachimas picked up 500 free masks from New Hope City Hall Thursday morning. The face coverings came courtesy of the TwinWest Chamber of Commerce, which wanted to help local cities and Hennepin County businesses comply with the order that Governor Walz announced on June 22.
New Hope had 20,000 masks on hand to distribute on Thursday. Businesses could request up to 500 face coverings. By 11:30 a.m., they had already given out 7,000 masks to local businesses.
“Some of them are just thankful for the little amounts that they’re requesting, and other ones are just really happy about getting the full amount,” said Aaron Thelen, New Hope’s recreation supervisor. “So yeah, I think we’re expecting quite a few more businesses and organizations to come in this afternoon too.”
People who disregard the governor’s mask order could face petty misdemeanor fines of up to $100. Businesses that fail to comply could face misdemeanor fines of up to $1,000.
Thursday’s distribution event was aimed at helping people avoid those fines, while limiting the spread of COVID-19 in the process.
Nachimas says he plans to hand out masks to any of his Dunkin’ Donuts customers who come in without one.
“It’s very nice to offer them a mask. It’s very helpful that the city of New Hope, or any city in the Twin Cities, can offer this kind of help,” Nachimas said.