The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is distributing over 2 million reusable facemasks to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in Victoria.
As a community health service, Central Bayside Community Health Services (CBCHS) is helping to supply these masks to vulnerable people in our community.
Why is the Victorian Government distributing reusable facemasks?
The Victorian Government wants to protect members of the community who may become sicker with coronavirus (COVID-19), or who may be less likely to have access to a face covering. Providing these people, and the workers who deliver services to them, with reusable face masks is important to minimise the risk of infection across the community – and support vulnerable Victorians and our essential health workers.
How is CBCHS helping to distribute masks in our community?
Masks are being provided to people who need them when attending our services.
Working with the City of Kingston, we are also distributing masks to a range of local agencies supporting vulnerable people. These include refuge centres, community meals centres, caravan parks and drug & alcohol support services.
Our nursing team are also connecting with our community – delivering facemasks door-to-door to vulnerable groups. This also allows us to provide a friendly welfare check and identify people who may need support with other health and community needs.
What masks are currently available?
Currently, disposable masks are being provided until supplies of reusable masks are received. Once reusable masks become available, people who previously received disposable masks will still be eligible to receive a cloth mask.
The reusable masks consist of three layers of pressed cotton fabric with elastic ear loops. They are designed to be worn multiple times and can be washed between wearing.
The reusable masks are being developed by ethical manufacturers based in Victoria.
Local manufacturers are working as quickly as possible to deliver the masks, but it will take some time for all the masks to be manufactured. In the interim, to ensure that people can access masks as quickly as possible, single-use surgical masks are being distributed.
Once reusable masks are available for delivery or collection from CBCHS, we will be able to provide reusable cloth mask to people who received single-use disposable masks.
How many masks can be provided per person?
Each eligible person can be supplied with two reusable masks. If a person has received single-use masks, they are still able to receive two reusable masks at a later date when the reusable masks are available.
For more information on this State Government initiative, visit the DHHS website.