Fresno police officers and firefighters to wear protective masks during COVID-19 pandemic


Practicing social distancing amid COVID-19 concerns, Dallas
Police officer R. Salgado looks on while a man speaks in downtown Dallas, Friday, April 3, 2020. New federal guidelines are also expected soon on wearing face masks to help curb the spread of the virus, Trump said recently, adding that the guidance won’t require all Americans to use face coverings. For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — Fresno police officers and firefighters will start to wear protective face masks Friday during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Officials say they hope to eventually have all city employees wear face masks.

The city will provide surgical and cloth face masks to as many police officers and firefighters as possible and require them to be worn while on the job.

“The nature of their jobs limits their ability to practice social distancing and protect themselves properly, so requiring that they wear masks is a necessary measure to keep them healthy,” said Wilma Quan, City Manager.

The city said it had a limited supply of various kinds of protective masks and has many more on order.

More city employees will be required to wear masks while working as officials receive more masks, said Mark Standriff, city of Fresno spokesman. The decision on which employees will be required to wear masks will be based on how their job duties limit their ability to practice social distancing.

All city of Fresno employees may be required to wear masks while at work if the government acquires enough masks. Employees who have their own masks are encouraged to wear them to work.

Standriff said the city of Fresno is accepting homemade cloth masks from any resident with access to sewing equipment and is interested in making and donating them to keep city employees healthy.

Donations can be delivered to the security staff at the front door of Fresno City Hall at 2600 Fresno St. during normal business hours from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

For questions or more information on mask donations, the public can email or call the city’s non-emergency hotline at 311.

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