Cars gathered more than a half-hour before the official start time of 4 p.m. at the Seaside Fire Department’s KN95 mask giveaway on South Lincoln late Thursday afternoon last week.

Seaside, along with Gearhart, Cannon Beach and other locations, was among distribution spots for Clatsop County’s free distribution of face coverings. The masks help slow the spread of virus transmission.

“People are very appreciative,” Division Chief Chris Dugan said as he and other firefighters passed packages to residents in their cars at the drive-thru.

“I think it’s a great thing the county put together,” Seaside Fire Chief Joey Daniels said. “It shows the county and all the agencies working together to get masks out to the public. We asked for 10,000 and seems we’re going through them pretty quick. I’m hoping we have enough until seven.”

The masks are reusable, though not washable. Users are advised to conserve masks by storing in a bag when not in use.

Will last Thursday’s giveaway increase usage?

“I’m hoping so,” Daniels said. “But you can’t necessarily force people to wear masks. We’re giving them out so they have them available, but that’s pretty much all we can do.”

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