By Jennifer Gomori, MAPE Editor

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced MI Mask Aid, a program providing 4 million free face masks to disadvantaged communities.

With COVID-19 cases reaching a two-week plateau in Michigan, Whitmer unveiled the partnership between Ford Motor Company and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help lower the disproportionate spread of COVID-19 in the black community and the vulnerable population. Masks will be distributed to low-income residents, seniors and schools through the effort led by Michigan Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities.

“I want to thank Jim Hackett (Ford CEO) and Ford for their partnership,” Whitmer said, noting the masks, produced by Ford Motor Company, have a Ford symbol on them.

With 1,121 new cases announced Aug. 13, Whitmer stressed the importance of wearing face coverings to reduce the spread and reopen schools this fall. "Youth will not protect you from this virus," Whitmer said. "Your political affiliation will not protect you from this virus. And this virus will not go away just because we’re tired of dealing with it.”

Anyone interested in obtaining free face masks should call the COVID-19 hotline at (888) 535-6136.