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Santa Barbara- S County

Direct Relief donate 100,000 masks to essential workers in Santa Barbara County

Direct Relief CEO Tighe delivers masks to Santa Barbara businesses
Direct Relief
Direct Relief CEO Thomas Tighe delivers masks to essential workers in Goleta and Santa Barbara on April 28, 2020, during the Covid-19 pandemic. The organization will be delivering up to 100,000 masks, beginning in Santa Barbara County, to protect essential workers. On April 28, more than 1,500 masks were delivered to grocery and convenience stores, including Santa Cruz Market, Smart and Final, Albertson's and Sprouts. (Lara Cooper/Direct Relief)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -- Direct Relief, a local organization, began delivery 100,000 masks to grocery stores and other businesses in Santa Barbara County on Tuesday.

Direct Relief hopes to support the people working during the pandemic and to help keep them safe.

Direct Relief CEO Thomas Tighe delivers masks to essential workers in Goleta and Santa Barbara on April 28, 2020, during the Covid-19 pandemic (Lara Cooper/Direct Relief).

The organization has delivered masks to grocery stores in Goleta and Santa Barbara including Santa Cruz Market, Smart & Final, Albertson's and Sprouts.

Direct Relief purchased 50,000 masks from the same Chinese supplier that manufactures the Direct Relief's distinctive orange NIOSH-approved N95 masks that were distributed to 1,300 hospitals and nonprofit community health centers and clinics nationwide.

The masks being provided to local essential businesses are similar but they do not have formal approval from the Emergency Use Authorization so they will not be given to healthcare workers.

The organization delivered up to 100,000 masks, beginning in Santa Barbara County, to protect essential workers (Lara Cooper/Direct Relief).

The other 50,000 masks were given to Direct Relief by others who sourced from corporate donations, primarily sourced from China, directly. These masks are at least two-ply and in original packaging. They will also not be provided to medical settings because of no formal approval and no formal FDA approval.

Direct Relief's CEO gave the following statement on these donations:

“The protection of health workers with appropriate PPE remains a critical need and top priority that Direct Relief continues to address as expansively as possible through a variety of channels. But, essential businesses and their workers who have continued to serve the public also need adequate protection, and we’ll do everything we can to make sure they have access to masks and other protective materials to ensure their safety and that of their customers, too.” 

Thomas Tighe, Direct Relief CEO

Tighe drove around Santa Barbara on Tuesday delivering masks to all essential open businesses.

Community / Coronavirus / Health / Lifestyle / Safety

Julia Nguyen

Julia Nguyen is an assignment editor and social media coordinator at KEYT|KCOY|KKFX.