They come in boxes of 3500 each, but once unpacked have a familiar look and feel. County Executive George Latimer has been delivering donated white cotton face masks made by Hanes Brands throughout Westchester County this week.
On Monday, Latimer and County Legislator Catherine Parker dropped thousands of the masks off at Town Halls in Mamaroneck and Larchmont for eventual distribution to first responders, seniors, and employees who are still at work during the Covid 19 emergency.
At each stop the county officials were greeted outside the municipal building, maintaining social distancing and speaking from behind their own PPE masks. Mamaroneck Town Supervisor Nancy Seligson said the timing was perfect. “We are so grateful because we need this,” she said.
Legislator Parker marveled at how Hanes was able to shift from its usual product to PPE so quickly. “These are really nice sturdy, plain masks and will definitely do the job to keep people safe,” she said. She says they remind her of “tightie whities.”
Hanes, of course, is one of the prime manufacturers of the iconic male underwear and offered to begin making PPE at the start of the crisis. The company donated 300,000 units to hard-hut Westchester trusting the county to distribute them to 43 different municipal jurisdictions.
Latimer says every community will get a minimum of 3500-5000 masks with additional supplies going to larger communities like Yonkers, White Plains and Mount Vernon.
Larchmont Fire Chief John Caparelli was overheard telling Mayor Lorraine Walsh that the demand for the masks is strong. He said he’d been handing them out at all open businesses in the Village and immediately asked “can we get more?” The masks are washable just like the product the material was originally intended for. The answer to the Chief’s question: “probably, we’ll see.”