Mask giveaway: 27,000 in four hours

The City of Biloxi distributed 27,000 masks in four hours this morning, in a “Mask, up Biloxi” initiative that Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich announced in an appeal Wednesday night.

The program, designed to help stem the spread of the coronavirus, was supposed to run from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. today at five drive-through locations in the city. A stream of vehicles over the first couple of hours at the locations, which were in east, west and north Biloxi, signaled its success.

Said Mayor Gilich, after delivering donuts to workers at each location, in a post on the city’s Facebook page at 9:30: “We are on track to give away the initial supply of 27,000 masks shortly, well before the 1 p.m. schedule. It’s encouraging to see this level of response. Now we want to see people put these masks to good use. Mask up.”

In most cases, between four and six masks were distributed per car.

By 11 a.m., the masks were gone at all five locations: the Gruich and Synder centers, the Lopez-Quave Public Safety Center, the Biloxi Visitors Center and the Fire Station No. 8 on Woolmarket Road.

“This has been a tremendous success,” Gilich said. “I want to thank those city workers who manned these locations on a city holiday. I want to thank MEMA for giving us the masks to distribute, and I want to thank the public for the turnout. We’ll certainly do more when the opportunity arises.”
City Facebook page: See photos from today
Video: See the mayor’s initial appeal, published Wednesday night
Video: See the latest “Be prepared” video, published Thursday afternoon