King County to distribute 25 million face coverings to residents, businesses

Each of 39 cities in county to get a shipment

  • Thursday, June 18, 2020 5:01pm
  • News

With King County preparing for a transition to Phase 2 of the Governor’s Safe Start Plan, and county and state directives about face coverings in effect, the county is distributing 5 million cloth face coverings and 20 million disposable face coverings to residents, workers and businesses.

“We made good progress at flattening the curve, and saved thousands of lives, but with increasing activity comes the need for ever-increasing vigilance to protect each other from COVID-19,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine in a King County Emergency Management news release on June 18. “The county is providing these face coverings at no cost so that everyone who needs them can get them.”

The county’s goal is that each resident could receive two cloth face coverings, which can be washed and re-used. The disposable face coverings are intended for use by customers and community members who don’t have their own face coverings at government offices, retailers, faith-based organizations and other gathering places. The distribution plan is being finalized with the help of various government agencies and community organizations, including cities, chambers of commerce, the King County Department of Local Services, community-based organizations, religious institutions and unions.

“We have received the first shipment of 1.5 million cloth face coverings and have already distributed them to 16 cities in the county and the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce,” said Brendan McCluskey, director of King County Emergency Management.

Due to the high volumes of face coverings, not all will arrive or be shipped out at the same time, and distribution may take about a month.

The county is offering the face coverings to all 39 cities in the county.

“We have scheduled deliveries to all but six of the 39 cities in King County at this point,” said Barbara Ramey, King County Emergency Management spokesperson, in a June 18 email. “We are waiting to hear back from a handful of cities. Each city will receive a different amount, based on their population. Allotments ranged from 500 to 200,000 face coverings based on population.”

The King County Council received a supplemental budget request on June 11 which includes about $11 million for the purchase of the 25 million face coverings.

In addition to the recent purchase of 25 million face coverings, King County will receive another 800,000 cloth face coverings from the state which will be distributed by community organizations to residents in need. The county also bought 75,000 17-ounce bottles of hand sanitizer for distribution through the same groups as above, for use by employees and customers.

Separately, King County Emergency Management has already distributed 50,000 cloth face coverings received from the state to community-based organizations, more than 31,500 to cities for employee use, and 48,000 (22,000 from the state and 26,000 purchased) to King County employees.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@kirklandreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kirklandreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

State Capitol Building in Olympia. File photo
Politicians get pay raises, state workers get furloughs

A citizens panel approved the hikes in 2019. Unable to rescind them, lawmakers look to donate their extra earnings.

Human remains in West Seattle identified

Bags of body parts were found in a suitcase along a West Seattle beach on June 19.

Governor Jay Inslee smiles and laughs Sept. 3, 2019, during a speech at the Lynnwood Link Extension groundbreaking in Lynnwood. A Thurston County judge ruled he exceeded his authority when he vetoed single sentences in the state transportation budget in 2019. (Olivia Vanni / Herald file)
Judge invalidates Gov. Inslee’s veto in roads budget

Lawmakers said the governor crossed a constitutional line.

King County cases among younger adults drives increase in COVID-19 numbers

Over half of all new cases are among people ages 20-39

Kirkland man found guilty of promoting prostitution in Eastside sex trafficking ring

Authorities say suspect ran “successful enterprise” for greater half of a decade.

Kirkland allocates CARES Act funding

The council approved the city manager’s plans for the $2.6 million

Celebrate Kirkland festivities on previous July 4. Reporter file photo
Kirkland hosting virtual ‘Celebrate Kirkland’

The Independence Day virtual event includes footage from previous parades and firework displays

Public and private universities, colleges, technical schools, apprenticeship programs and similar schools and programs may resume general instruction, including in-person classes and lectures, starting Aug. 1. Pictured: The University of Washington-Bothell campus. File photo
Universities and colleges may reopen in fall, governor says

His order requires masks and physical distancing, among other measures, to help prevent infections.

Locals enjoy the water at Juanita Beach Park, where the Friday farmer’s market is located. Katie Metzger/staff photo
Juanita Beach to close at least a week from bacteria

This closure is in addition to the previous week’s closure that was caused by a toxic algal bloom in the water.

Most Read