Mask Up Memphis campaign offers free masks, stresses the importance of wearing them

WATCH: Mask Up Memphis campaign offers free masks, stresses the importance of wearing them

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — State, county, and city leaders announced a new campaign in the fight to flatten the curve of COVID-19 among African Americans in Memphis.

The campaign wants to make sure everyone in Memphis gets a mask and emphasizes the importance of wearing one. It’s called Mask Up Memphis.

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“We have to mask up if you care about anyone other than yourself,” said Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland.

State lawmakers Karen Camper and Raumesh Akbari from Memphis helped lead the way for the campaign to get stakeholders on board from MATA, the Memphis Grizzlies, and Grammy-award winning artists from Memphis like Al Kapone.

“We got to always go by that old saying ‘it’s better to be safe than sorry’ and mask up,” said Kapone. “And when you’re not around crowds of people you can take the mask off and breathe in some oxygen, because we got to have that, too.”

Last week Memphis City Council approved a facial covering ordinance. Councilmember Patrice Robinson told FOX13 the final paperwork will be on Mayor Strickland’s desk Monday.

“If you consider yourself pro-family or pro-economy you must be pro-mask,” she said.

Mask up Memphis is derived from a campaign called “Mask Up and Live” that started in Chicago in April. The goal of the campaign is to stress to large African American communities the importance of wearing a mask.

Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris said it’s campaigns like these he sees continuing even after positive COVID-19 numbers go down.

“The vast majority of residents in Shelby County are compliant. I think we are going to have to continue making investments to keep everyone safe,” said Harris.

Mask giveaway stations are located at Memphis Public Libraries, MATA bus terminals, Southbrook Town Center, and several other locations. You can also donate at those locations.

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