Milwaukee County receives 575,000 N95 masks from state, plans to distribute equitably

NOW: Milwaukee County receives 575,000 N95 masks from state, plans to distribute equitably

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee County is looking to fill requests for N95 masks from local community organizations. 

The county received a shipment of 575,000 N95 masks from the state on Friday, Jan. 21. 

The Office of Emergency Management gave 175,000 masks to 10 local municipalities, including Cudahy, Franklin, Greendale, Greenfield, Hales Corners, North Shore, Oak Creek, South Milwaukee, Wauwatosa and West Allis.

The Milwaukee County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) will distribute the rest of the masks to community agency partners on a first-come, first-serve basis.

"With significantly more supplies available to us, we're actually able to expand this operation to make masks available for our staff, as well as community members," Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley said. "Community providers that are serving vulnerable county residents, whether we're talking about churches or food pantries, we want to encourage you all to reach out to (DHHS) in order to order masks."

Meanwhile, recent data is showing promising signs that Milwaukee hit its peak in the omicron surge.

"We are not yet past this surge," Milwaukee County Chief Health Policy Advisor Dr. Ben Weston said. "This current wave of disease is finally declining, but the future of COVID remains unpredictable."

Weston warns this is not the time to start lightening up on mitigation measures. Vaccines, boosters, and masks remain more important than ever.

"We're not out of the woods yet, which is why continuing mitigation measures, including using high-quality masks, just KN95 and N95 masks when indoors, distancing and ventilation continue to be critical," Weston said.

Organizations looking to request masks should reach out to DHHS at 414-289-6482.

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