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Covid Safe Colorado Donates 7,500 Masks to Denver Public Libraries

Dec 15, 2023

Denver, Colo. (December 15, 2023) — A partnership between mutual aid group Covid Safe Colorado (CSC) and the Denver Public Library will help keep Denver residents safe this winter from COVID-19, the flu, and RSV. 

On December 14, volunteer Michelle Nilson dropped off boxes containing more than 7,500 KN95 Accumed masks to the library’s Central Branch. Denver Public Library plans to distribute the masks among all branches so they are available to community members at no cost.

“This is such a fantastic partnership, because libraries are central locations where people can easily grab some masks when they’re there to check out books,” said co-founder Katrina Martin, an Aurora resident.

CSC originally obtained the masks for free from Project N95, a non-profit that provided groups and individuals with high-quality starting in early 2020. The organization recently closed.

CSC was co-founded in June by five Coloradoans located from Fort Collins to Colorado Springs. Most volunteers reside in the Denver metro area. The group’s goal is to provide high-quality masks to community members and organizations at no cost. Since distribution began in August, the group has distributed more than 3,000 masks to individuals, Little Free Libraries in various locations, and protestors attending actions in support of Gaza. 

In addition to distributing masks, CSC holds in-person, outdoor, masked gatherings at parks as well as Zoom game nights once a month. They recently began taking donations through PayPal (paypal.me/covidsafeco).

“We need to replenish our supply of masks,” Martin said. “We’d also like to mail masks to people in other parts of the state, and we want to expand our offerings to include rapid and molecular tests, air quality monitors, and materials to build Corsi-Rosenthal boxes we can lend out.”

Corsi-Rosenthal boxes are highly efficient air purifiers one can build from a box fan or PC fans and MERV 13 furnace filters. They have been shown to reduce indoor exposure to Covid-19, and are one layer of protection people can use when increasing safety for indoor events.
People interested in obtaining free masks from CSC can visit https://covidsafecolorado.org/ to see their mask inventory and request masks. They can also sign up to volunteer. CSC updates their Instagram page (@covidsafecolorado) weekly with Covid-19 case numbers and wastewater concentrations, and posts information about upcoming events.

Follow-up:

Good morning! Sending a reminder that Katrina Martin from Covid Safe Colorado will be at the Hampden branch of the Denver Public Library today (9755 E. Girard Ave.) to deliver a portion of the 7,500 Accumed KN95s the group donated to DPL.

If you visit the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Covid portal today, you’ll see that cases reported to the state have dropped (cases reported to the state are typically an undercount of actual cases). 

By contrast, the wastewater data shows that 23 cities have cases steadily rising, two cities have cases increasing, and 11 cities have cases plateauing. This still represents a lot of illness in our communities, and the wastewater data shows that Denver and Aurora are two of the spots where cases are steadily rising. 

CSC’s contribution to the DPL will help keep community members safe from Covid, the flu, and RSV this season. 

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