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Lafayette County distributing KN95 masks to public

Lafayette County will be distributing free KN95 masks to residents on Thursday, May 28.

The KN95 masks will be available from 7 to 11 a.m. to Lafayette County residents only.

“None of the masks are going to any of the healthcare entities; they are strictly for the community,” Steve Quarles, the Lafayette County Emergency Management Director, said.

Those wanting a mask can pick them up by driving around the parking lot of the Lafayette County Multipurpose Arena, located at 70 F.D. Buddy East Parkway.

The masks are being provided to every county by the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) on instruction from Governor Tate Reeves.

Earlier in the pandemic, MEMA had more than one million KN95 masks to distribute to every county in the state. Lafayette County received 23,200 total. Quarles said the county will distribute approximately 15,000 masks on Thursday.

The KN95 masks are non-washable and can filter out 95 percent of the particulates out of the air, which is what is required for protection against COVID-19, according to Quarles. The downside of the masks is, because they filter out more particles, it makes it harder to breathe when wearing them. 

Quarles said he advises those wanting to wear the masks to do so when they “are wanting the most protection.”