French municipalities are working to provide free Covid-19 masks

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In Drôme and Ardèche (Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes), the president of the community Porte de DrômArdèche Pierre Jouvet has ordered 50,000 masks which will be distributed free of charge to residents.

The order for € 120,000 was placed with the Ardèche textile manufacturer Chamatex, which will produce the masks locally from start to finish. The masks should be delivered “in early May”, said Jouvet, and will also be available in town halls.

The move comes as confinement is expected to be further extended, but possible deconfinement measures should recommend the massive wearing of masks when people leave their homes.

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In a live message on Facebook, Mr. Jouvet noted: “We will be able to start distributing masks to our inhabitants from the beginning of May, with the help of the mayors, who have taken strong measures since the start of the epidemic.

“We have chosen to support people by distributing these masks for free. It has cost us, but the health of our people is priceless.

“We did everything we could to make it as quick as possible, working only with local businesses. “

Mr Jouvet said it will be possible for residents to make an optional donation upon receipt of their mask, with the money going towards coronavirus research.

He said: “This is one way for us to actively participate in the fight against the epidemic. Other aid will come soon, to help companies and their workers limit the impact of this economic crisis. “

The community has also ordered other masks designed for healthcare workers, including 200 protective visors expected within a week; and 10,000 surgical masks which should be delivered in the coming weeks.

The Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region has also launched a website allow people to join the volunteer effort to make masks. The region is working with the work uniform brand Gedivepro, which will send volunteers the materials needed to make the masks, and coordinate the finished products.

Part of the made-up masks will be given to health professionals, and the remaining part will be sold at cost price.

The site also allows companies to signal that they need additional masks for their workers, and allows them to place an order.

Other regions and municipalities have also started to order masks, in particular the Community of Communes of Sarlat-Périgord Noir and the Communities of Communes of Dordogne (New Aquitaine).

The city of Périgueux recently ordered 30,000 for its inhabitants; while the Dordogne as a whole said it was looking for volunteers in sewing to make thousands of masks for its people.

The municipalities of Nontron, Javerlhac and Trélissac have notably joined the effort, the mayor of Nontron Pascal Bourdeau specifying that the necessary fabric will be donated by the high-end fashion company Hermès, but that the municipality is still looking for volunteers to actually putting the masks together.

On its Facebook page, Trélissac posted a call for the support of all volunteers who could help “quickly produce a washable and reusable mask for each inhabitant of the town”.

The city will buy fabric, which will be kept at the town hall.

All companies, local associations, or residents likely to help are invited to contact the town hall, in order to collect enough material at one time to make 20 masks. The finished masks will then be returned to the Town Hall.

The public is reminded that masks are not enough to stop the spread of the virus and that their wearing must be accompanied by the usual barrier methods, such as coughing in the elbow, using disinfectant hand gel and / or washing hands. , and stay indoors two meters from other people at all times.

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