Direct Relief International and Santa Barbara County Public Health will be distributing more free masks this Saturday at the Cabrillo Pavilion Arts Center at East Beach in Santa Barbara from 10:30 am to 2 pm. This event follows Friday’s successful distribution of thousands of N-95 particulate respirators to Santa Barbara area residents.
The N-95 masks, which are easy to wear, help their wearer avoid inhaling harmful particulate matter in the smoke and ash. Residents with respiratory conditions like asthma, older adults, and those who must be outdoors for long periods are encouraged to come by and pick up a free mask for themselves or family and friends.
Direct Relief has secured generous donations of 24,800 more N-95 respirators to help residents of Santa Barbara County avoid the harmful effects of smoke and ash from the Tea Fire. Longtime donor 3M is providing 20,000 masks, with an additional 4,800 coming from Zee Medical, also a prior supporter.
Medline Industries, the nation’s largest privately held manufacturer and distributor of healthcare products, has also offered a below-wholesale price on its masks, which Direct Relief has purchased with emergency funds.
The masks will be delivered to Direct Relief’s Goleta headquarters tonight and through next week to replenish stocks as needed. The region has been under an air quality advisory due to smoke and ash from the Tea Fire, which has burned 1,500 acres as of 8 PM Thursday.