Since the COVID-19 pandemic took over last spring, Ford has produced and donated a variety of personal protective equipment to medical personnel, at-risk communities, and anyone else that has a need for it. This includes 100 million face masks the automaker plans on distributing through the end of this year, which have been donated to people in multiple U.S. states thus far, as well as other countries in need, including Brazil and India. Now, Ford has announced that it will donate an additional one million masks to school children in Kentucky, according to the Detroit Free Press.
“As students head into this new school year – which will undoubtedly be a challenge while we battle the delta variant – I cannot overstate how important this donation is for our state,” Kentucky’s first lady, Britainy Beshear, told the Free Press.
Last year, Beshear and Lieutenant Governor Jacqueline Coleman teamed up to launch the “Coverings for Kids” initiative, which wound up collecting 1.8 million masks – 1.5 million of which were donated by Ford. Additionally, Ford previously donated two million masks to Kentucky for its own personal protective equipment stockpile.
The donation of one million masks comes as Kentucky has experienced sharp increases in COVID-19 cases as a result of the delta variant. Lawmakers recently enacted a mask mandate for the state’s schools, from Kindergarten through 12th grade. Ford’s donation is intended to ensure that all school children have access to face coverings.
Ford, GM, and Stellantis recently reinstated mask mandates for all UAW autoworkers, regardless of vaccination status, as delta cases continue to surge. This decision came on the heels of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s recent change in COVID-19 workplace standards related to the Delta variant, which were amended to recommend that vaccinated individuals in areas of “substantial or high transmission” of the virus wear masks indoors.