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As government offices, retail stores and restaurants open up this week, health officials encourage the public to continue to use caution when in the public. To further ensure those who must be in the public, the Laurel County Health Department is hosting a drive-thru mask distribution this weekend.

According to Mark Hensley, the health department teamed with local Homemaker Clubs across the county and now has approximately 700 cloth masks that will be distributed to the public on a first-come, first-served basis this Saturday, May 23, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This is a drive-thru event that will not require anyone to leave their vehicles.

Traffic will be routed through the rear entrance to the health department on Jordan Drive, not through the Whitley Street entrance.

Hensley said the event stemmed from a survey conducted by the Laurel County Health Department.

"We did a survey on our Facebook page and we had over 1,000 responses. At least half of those responding said they did not have a face mask," Hensley said. "So we teamed with the local Homemakers Clubs to have masks made and we will distribute those on Saturday. This is a drive-through event so people don't even have to get out of their cars."

He added that many people have indicated that they were in fear of leaving their homes to enter public places to purchase masks, which prompted the drive-thru event. Hensley added that health department staff would be wearing their protective gear during the event.

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