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Heartland United Way will hand out free masks

Heartland United Way will hand out free masks

Distribution runs all next week

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With a citywide mask ordinance taking effect today in Grand Island, Heartland United Way will hand out free face masks to community members at five Grand Island locations.

The Grand Island City Council on Tuesday approved an ordinance that requires people to wear masks when indoors at premises open to the public within city limits. People who do not wear masks risk a $25 fine plus court costs for a total of $74. Businesses that allow people to not wear masks risk being charged as a public nuisance. The ordinance is in effect today through Feb. 23, 2021, unless extended by City Council.

There are three exemptions: children under 5; people are not required to wear masks while seated at a bar or restaurant when they are immediately having food or drink; people communicating with others who are deaf or hard of hearing, or have a disability or medical condition.

The face mask distribution will run from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

— Monday, masks will be handed out at La Mexicana Market, 385 N. Pine St.

— Tuesday, distribution will be at Tacos Los Hermanos, 602 W. Fourth St.

— Wednesday’s distribution will be at Millan’s Market, 124 W. Fourth St.

— Thursday, masks will be handed out at Super Acapulco, 317 S. Locust St.

— Friday’s distribution will be at Sanchez Plaza, 218 S. Wheeler Ave.

The masks are for families or individuals in need of masks. They were made possible by a Blue Cross/Blue Shield grant awarded to Heartland United Way.

Heartland United Way recently hired Eric Garcia-Mendez as the new director of community connections. Garcia-Mendez will work with community partners in identifying gaps in available services for community members for whom English is a second language and/or are culturally diverse. The public will have the opportunity to meet Garcia-Mendez during the weeklong mask distribution program.

The Heartland United Way is teaming up with Sandra Barrera from the Nebraska Extension in Hall County and area businesses in the distribution of the masks. Each mask will come with information on proper wear and care in four languages: Arabic, English, Somali and Spanish.

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