Free KN95 masks available at select Cass, Van Buren County locations

Published 4:41 pm Friday, February 11, 2022

LAWRENCE — A local health department employee is urging residents to take advantage of an opportunity for free protective equipment.

The Van Buren Cass District Health Department is distributing free KN95 masks to local organizations and community members in Van Buren and Cass Counties, and department Health Educator Holly Young stressed the importance of continuing to wear a mask in public.

“Masks are a simple barrier to help prevent your respiratory droplets from reaching others,” Young said, through a press release. “Studies show that masks reduce the spray of droplets when worn over the nose and mouth. You should wear a mask, even if you do not feel sick. Several studies have found that people with COVID-19 who never develop symptoms and those who are not yet showing symptoms can still spread the virus to other people.”

During a December talk at the Cass County Council on Aging Spill the Beans event, Young said residents must fight COVID-19 fatigue and continue to follow protocols.

“This is going on two years of COVID-19,” she said. “People don’t want to do these things anymore. I understand. I know it’s hard for people, but we’re just trying to push it as much as possible because this isn’t going away. It’s something that we need to do interventions on continuously.”

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19 spreads mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets. Respiratory droplets travel into the air when you cough, sneeze, talk, shout or sing. These droplets can then land in the mouths or noses of people near you, or they may breathe these droplets in.

The CDC also reports that wearing any kind of mask will offer some protection against COVID-19, but KN95 and N95 masks provide the best chance at avoiding infection.
The following is a partial list of participating organizations that are distributing masks, while supplies last:

  • Van Buren Cass District Health Department – Lawrence & Dowagiac offices
  • Participating Fire Departments in Cass & Van Buren Counties
  • Van Buren District Libraries – all branches
  • Cass District Libraries – all branches
  • Van Buren and Cass MDHHS offices
  • Cass County Council on Aging
  • Area Agency on Aging
  • Community Action Agency
  • InterCare Community Health Network
  • Cass Family Clinic
  • Pharmacies at Meijer, Walgreens, and Family Fare

Please call the location prior to arriving to verify availability. If you represent an agency willing to redistribute masks to the public, please contact the VBCDHD at (269) 621-3143 ext. 1382.
For instructions on how to put on a KN95 mask, please refer to the attached graphic. For more information on testing, vaccines, and COVID-19 information, please visit vbcassdhd.org/COVID-19. To learn more about the effectiveness of masks, visit cdc.gov.