JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - As coronavirus numbers continue to rise, metro area citizens are getting a much needed tool to combat the spread.
Residents in Jackson and Ridgeland are getting free masks provided by the state, MEMA and county officials.
"It's important that we're trying to fight this virus," said Melvin Tillis of Jackson.
The 76-year-old was one of the hundreds of Jackson residents to receive a free mask Thursday at the Westside Community Center on Wiggins Road.
The City of Jackson received 70,000 masks which will be distributed at six locations Thursday through Saturday. Each resident can receive one mask.
“A lot of people don’t believe it’s a killer thing here, but it is,” said Tillis. “All they’ve got to do is just look at the TV, they’ll see it."
Brenda Alexander of Jackson was also among those grateful for the protective gear.
“God is in control of this coronavirus, not man. And when God gets ready for this to go away, it’s gonna go away but we’ve got to wear the masks and the gloves to protect us,” said Alexander.
Ted Arich went to the Ridgeland Central Fire Station to get masks for his wife and himself. The respiratory virus has impacted his family.
“I think everybody ought to wear a mask,” said Arich. “My uncle in New York has COVID-19. So that’s one of the reasons I have this. He’s on oxygen, and he’s in bed."
Ridgeland residents can get free masks by stopping by the fire station. Fire Chief Matt Bailey urges residents to follow health guidelines and not let their guards down now.
“A lot of them are having problems getting masks just for personal use and now that they’re able to make them available we can easily distribute them out to the citizens.”
They are available by calling Ridgeland City Hall in advance and parking at the front door. Someone will bring it to your vehicle. You can also go to the Ridgeland Police Department.
Ridgeland has been given 8,000 masks which will be donated from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. through 5 p.m. while supplies last.