26 September 2023

Free masks to take on the COVID virus

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Vulnerable Victorians are to receive free N95 and KN95 masks to protect them and help reduce transmission of COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases.

Announced by Premier Daniel Andrews, more than three million masks are to be handed out to the community through State-run testing sites, community health services and across the public transport network.

“Over the next four to six weeks every person that presents for either a free rapid antigen or PCR test will receive one box of 10 N95 masks, along with instructions on how best to wear them to reduce transmission,” Mr Andrews said.

“Masks will also be distributed through some of Victoria’s community organisations including at multicultural, multi-faith events and Aboriginal gatherings as well as through a number of disability service providers,” he said.

“In addition, more masks will be available from PTV hubs and staffed train stations while authorised officers and some V/Line conductors will carry masks with them to hand out as needed.”

Mr Andrews reminded the community that masks were still mandatory in high-risk settings including hospitals, aged care and on public transport.

He said they were strongly recommended for people in indoor settings, areas where they couldn’t physically distance, who had any COVID-19 symptoms, or were with others who may be vulnerable to the virus.

“Wearing a face mask can help protect you, those around you – and importantly, Victoria’s hardworking healthcare workers,” the Premier said.

“Face masks can stop viruses spreading in the air when people talk, cough, sneeze and laugh, which lowers the chance of spreading or catching COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases.”

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