Gov. Bill Lee said the state has purchased five million cloth face masks for all Tennesseans.
The masks will be available at health departments, Lee said in a press conference Tuesday. He said the state has already sent the first shipments of the masks to all 95 Tennessee health departments.
The Knox County Health Dept. has received its shipment and will begin distributing those on Wednesday at the main KCHD building located at 140 Dameron Ave. during regular business hours.
There will be signs to direct people in the right direction. One mask will be given per person and you must be present to obtain a mask. These are not medical masks and they should not be used for medical or commercial use.
According to Dean Flener with TEMA, the state bought masks from Renfro Corp., which is headquartered in Mount Airy, N.C.,and has a distribution operation in Cleveland, Tenn.
Renfro is a global designer and distributor of legwear products.
In a conference call with lawmakers on Wednesday, Gov. Bill Lee said the state wanted to provide a cloth mask for every Tennessee resident.
Sen. Richard Briggs of Knoxville was on the call and shared the news with WBIR.
The state has ordered five million cloth masks to distribute to state residents, though no details of when and how they would be handed out have been released.
The masks would be the kind that can be washed and re-used multiple times.
The population of Tennessee does exceed five million. According to the U.S. Census, the state had an estimated populaton of 6,829,174 in 2019.