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City to Hand Out Thousands of Free Face Coverings to New Yorkers at Parks

Astoria Park (Parks Dept.)

April 30, 2020 By Allie Griffin

New York City will be handing out free face coverings to New Yorkers in an effort to further control the spread of the coronavirus, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced today.

City workers will be distributing up to 100,000 face coverings in parks and playgrounds across the five boroughs from Saturday, May 2 through Tuesday, May 5.

“We need to fight [the virus] back and this is a very simple powerful way to do it,” de Blasio said.

In Queens, the coverings will be distributed at Queensbridge Park, Astoria Park, Lost Battalion Hall, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Mauro Playground, Daniel O’Connell Playground, Baisley Pond Park, Springfield Park, Redfern Playground and Sorrentino Recreation Center.

“We want to make it easy for people to have face coverings,” de Blasio said.

The city is also ramping up its social distancing enforcement and education as the weather warms up and more people will be going outside.

The mayor is creating a task force of 1,000 full-time workers who will be brought in from a number of city agencies to enforce social distancing rules. The task force will include employees of the Parks Department, Office of Special Enforcement, Sheriff’s Office, FDNY, DEP and DSNY.

The workers will add to the NYPD officers who have already been patrolling streets and parks to ensure compliance. Task force workers will also distribute another 275,000 free face coverings to those without them throughout the city.

Face coverings will help protect everyone from the spread of the coronavirus, de Blasio said.

“I want people to think that it’s not a small act to put on a face covering — in fact, it’s a very generous altruistic act,” de Blasio said. “It helps protect everyone around you. It helps reduce the spread of the disease. Think about the face coverings as yet another way to inhibit this disease which has done such horrifying things to New Yorkers.”

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