In spite of many inconsistencies on how COVID-19 is spread, who’s most at risk, and when a vaccine will be (and should be) available, there has been nearly universal agreement among public health experts that wearing a face covering helps reduce risk of contracting the virus. While the issue is much more heatedly debated among the public, the plain fact is that there are many businesses you simply can’t enter unless you’re wearing a mask. Recognizing this, HealthPartners and Mercy Health have both  teamed up with the city of Lima, OH, along with other local businesses, to provide 38,000 free COVID-19 protection kits to residents. Each “Mask on Lima” packet contains a washable face mask, a list of testing locations (including HealthPartners’ and Mercy Health’s), and information on how to slow the spread. The initiative was unveiled by the city, which explained to the public that municipalities with mask mandates have decreased spread of the virus by up to 30%. The whole effort paints every supporting organization as one that cares about the community and associates them with a feeling of contributing to the public good while asking nothing in return. It would only follow that at least some prospective patients will remember that HealthPartners and Mercy Health were there for them the next time they have immediate care needs.

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