Mayor Lightfoot Launches Citywide Cloth Mask Drive

Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot arrives at Wrigley Field on April 16, 2020 in Chicago Illinois.
Photo credit Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
By WBBM Newsradio 780 AM & 105.9 FM

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Mayor Lightfoot and the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) will launch Tuesday a citywide cloth mask drive.

The “Chicago Together! Make a Mask, Give a Mask, Wear a Mask” initiative is encouraging residents to make and donate homemade cloth masks that will be provided to Chicago’s vulnerable residents, "further building on Mayor Lightfoot’s hyper-focused strategy centered around deep, consistent education and outreach to communities most adversely impacted by COVID-19," the Mayor's Office said in a statement.

According to the Mayor's Office, the homemade cloth maks will be provided to homeless shelters, community health clinics, and other organizations to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among the city’s most high-risk residents. 

Masks can be made from recycled cloth such as t-shirts, bandanas, jeans, thick cotton and other breathable fabrics. Completed masks should be placed in a clear, sealable plastic bag. The Chicago Department of Public Health has included the CDC guidelines on how to make a cloth mask at Chicago.gov/coronavirus

Mask donations will be accepted at various locations from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Tuesdays and Saturdays beginning Saturday, April 25 through Saturday, May 16. Drop-off locations can be found at Chicago.gov/coronavirus.

The city will pick up the donated cloth masks and deliver them to the United Center, where they will be included in kits packed by TEAM Rubicon, a veteran-led global disaster response organization and distributed as needed.

Governor JB Pritzker said he is considering requiring anyone who goes into a grocery store to wear a mask."That has what has led me to think hard about whether we should require people wear masks when they go to public places, because if you are not wearing a mask and you are not socially distant, those two things together lead to people getting sick," Pritzker said.

Numerous Chicago suburbs are now requring people to wear masks in public, including Northbrook, Niles, Highland Park, Wilmette, Morton Grove, Skokie, Cicero and Glenview.