Austin Peay joins state effort to get more masks in the hands of Tennessee residents
(Posted June 19, 2020)
Austin Peay State University has joined a state effort to distribute close to 300,000 free or low-cost cloth face coverings across the state.
The University bought 30,000 (about 10 percent of the masks) to give to students, staff and faculty. Austin Peay officials also expect to give the masks to alumni and university supporters.
The masks will be free.
“Our goal is to ensure our faculty, staff and students get masks, but we also understand we have alumni, donors and supporters who want masks as well,” said Michael Kasitz, assistant vice president for public safety at APSU.
Austin Peay officials will release details soon on how to get the masks.
More about the state’s effort
APSU joined Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee’s Economic Recovery Group’s (ERG) TN Strong Mask Movement, partnering with more than 30 flagship brands to distribute close to distribute the masks. Residents can stay safe while wearing brands synonymous with Tennessee from the worlds of sports, education, and business.
“Tennesseans have stepped up to do their part and keep their neighbors safe throughout this health crisis,” said Mark Ezell, director of the Economic Recovery Group. “The more we can encourage masks and make them fun, the better we can mitigate the spread of the COVID-19. These businesses are the heart and soul of Tennessee, and we’re grateful to them for helping our citizens stay healthy and have a little fun sporting their favorite brands while they’re at it.”
The CDC recently released new guidance for public events and gatherings, strongly encouraging wearing masks to lower the risk of exposure and reduce the spread of COVID-19. As Tennessee safely continues to reopen the economy and residents and travelers alike move about the state, masks have become an important health accessory.
“We are so appreciative of Governor Lee and Commissioner Ezell to include the Nashville Predators in promoting the use of masks so SMASHVILLE can continue to open in the safest possible manner,” Nashville Predators President/CEO Sean Henry said. “By creating SMASHVILLE Strong and Predator-themed masks, we can all show our passion for the Preds while reinforcing the use of face coverings as we work to re-launch the economy and local businesses.”
Each business will distribute branded cloth face coverings at little to no cost across their own channels or with the help of the State of Tennessee, which could include employees, fans or nonprofit partnerships. Companies can visit https://tn.gov/governor/covid-19/economic-recovery/mask-movement for additional information. The general public can also visit the link above to order a TN Strong branded mask.
Participating brands include:
- Austin Peay State University
- Belmont University (courtesy Dickens Family)
- BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Foundation
- Bristol Motor Speedway
- East Tennessee State University
- FedEx Express
- Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville of Sevier County
- Gibson Brands
- Jack Daniel’s
- Lipscomb University (courtesy Ezell Foundation)
- Memphis Grizzlies
- Middle Tennessee State University
- Nashville Predators
- Nashville SC (courtesy Ingram Charities, distributed in partnership with United Way of Greater Nashville)
- Ryman Hospitality Properties, Inc.
- Tennessee Bankers Association
- Tennessee Farm Bureau Health Plans
- Tennessee Tech University
- Tennessee Titans
- Tractor Supply Company
- TriStar Health
- Union University
- University of Memphis
- University of Tennessee, Knoxville (courtesy The Boyd Foundation)
- Unum Group
- Vanderbilt University
- Volkswagen Chattanooga
Tennessee began a phased reopening under the Tennessee Pledge, a plan to help Tennesseans get back to work safely and reboot the economy. Restaurants resumed business with limited capacity on April 27, quickly followed by a number of additional industries enabling tens of thousands of Tennesseans to return to work safely.
About Tennessee’s Economic Recovery Group
Governor Bill Lee established the Economic Recovery Group, a joint effort between state departments, members of the legislature, and leaders from the private sector to build guidance to safely reboot Tennessee’s economy. The group is led by Tennessee Department of Tourist Development Commissioner Mark Ezell.
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