In Arlington, the masks are in the mail

The city is sending two to every household to try to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

ARLINGTON — For one Snohomish County community, it is one small but ambitious step to try to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The City of Arlington is preparing to mail two free face masks to every household within its boundaries.

That’s roughly 7,840 homes, including apartments and other multi-family units. The masks are expected to be sent Tuesday or Wednesday.

There is a time factor to the mailings. Snohomish County is anticipating opening up more businesses soon as some state-imposed COVID-19 safety restrictions are eased.

Arlington Mayor Barb Tolbert said she wants to see those businesses remain open and prosper. Taking precautions, such as wearing a mask, should help, she said.

Both county and state leaders are considering orders for all residents to wear face coverings in public, not just workers.

Last week, Thurston County’s top medical officer issued a mandatory mask order.

Regardless of whether masks are ordered or strongly recommended, they just make sense, Tolbert said.

“I wear one. My 83-year-old mother lives in the community,” she said. “I will do everything I can to protect her.”

The cost of buying and mailing the masks will be somewhere around $25,000 to $30,000, according to city estimates. Tolbert said none of the money comes from local taxes. It’s federal CARES Act funding earmarked for COVID-19-related expenses.

Tolbert said she understands some people will refuse to wear masks. She said she hopes they will at least consider giving them to a neighbor or family member who will.

She sees the masks as an important tool in reopening local businesses. A recent Arlington Chamber of Commerce survey showed the greatest concern among local businesses is consumer confidence. Some merchants worry customers won’t come to shop if they don’t feel safe.

As of late last week, there had been 128 coronavirus cases in Arlington and one death.

The number of new cases has been on a steady decline. Tolbert hopes the masks will help maintain that trend amid loosened requirements and greater social interaction.

“I just want to gently encourage people to have healthy habits,” she said.

Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446; stevick@heraldnet.com.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Navy now plans to send 3 more ships to Everett

The destroyer USS John S. McCain is the latest with plans to move here within the next 13 months.

Everett’s Grand Avenue bridge getting closer to opening

Construction is set to finish later this month. But don’t expect a grand opening party.

State: Held up jobless claims to be resolved by end of month

Just under 35,000 people are still waiting for resolution of their claims for unemployment benefits.

8-mile detour for Highway 9 roundabout work starts Thursday

The intersection of Highway 9 and 108th Street Northeast in Marysville will close until Monday.

Buffets and salad bars back on the menu in Snohomish County

Gov. Jay Inslee has revised rules to allow self-serve food areas in Phase 2 of the state’s reopening.

Governor’s no-mask, no-service order begins across Washington

“Just do not ring up the sale,” Gov. Jay Inslee said about customers who do not don the proper masks.

Daycare, homeless shelter closed due to COVID-19 cases

Up to 14 people, mostly kids, tested positive for COVID-19 at Tender Hearts Dayschool in Marysville.

Kenmore woman reportedly shot in knee near Mill Creek

A passing driver took the victim and her boyfriend to Swedish Mill Creek Hospital.

Most Read