MADISON, Wis. — The state of Wisconsin is distributing face masks to convenience stores, restaurants and other food processors as part of a new COVID-19 relief program initiated by Gov. Tony Evers.
The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) will provide about 60,000 masks for public-facing workers to foodservice operators and local businesses, including 22,500 masks for the Wisconsin Restaurant Association; 22,500 for small grocers in the Wisconsin Grocers Association; 8,000 masks for small food processors in the Midwest Food Products Association; 2,500 masks for small cheese plants in the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association; 2,000 masks for small meat processors; and 2,000 masks for the Wisconsin Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association.
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Wisconsin Emergency Management (WEM) will also ship more than 2 million masks and more than 4,200 infrared thermometers to public, charter and private schools throughout the state.
“Whether it's a school, cheese plant or restaurant, we are doing everything we can to ensure that everyone has access to the essential resources and PPE they need to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” said Evers. “As our economy continues to reopen, we know businesses want to protect their customers and workers, and schools across our state are preparing to reopen safely for our kids, educators, and staff, so these efforts now are critically important to ensure they have the resources and supplies they need to keep folks safe.”
Acquiring these masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) during the pandemic has been a significant hurdle, especially for small businesses, said Randy Romanski, secretary designee of DATCP.
“DATCP is proud to connect the dots with Gov. Evers and WEM to help Wisconsin’s food processors, restaurants, grocers, and convenience stores access the resources they need to ensure the safety of their employees and customers,” he said.
Cloth masks and infrared thermometers offered to schools and businesses were supplied by the Federal Emergency Management Agency at no cost to the state of Wisconsin.