COLUMBUS — The Ohio Department of Aging and the Ohio Department of Health, with support of the Ohio Department of Administrative Services, launched the 10 Million Mask Mailer. During December, more than 10 million disposable face masks are being mailed to 2.1 million Ohioans age 65 and older. Each mailer includes five masks and information about staying well throughout the winter.
“The science is clear: Wearing a mask that covers your nose and mouth helps protect you and those around you from COVID-19,” said Ursel McElroy, director of the Department of Aging. “We are thankful for the fast work of our partners at the Department of Administrative Services to get these mailers into the hands of the most at-risk Ohioans in response to the current surge in cases and over the holidays.”
Ohioans age 65 and older were identified through the Department of Aging’s Golden Buckeye program. Contracted teams then set to work on assembling mailer envelopes, which include five non-medical disposable masks and COVID prevention information. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these are among the most effective mask types.
“As Ohio confronts coronavirus on many different fronts it will be important to keep wearing masks, one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of the virus. We were happy to play a key role in this effort,” said Matt Damschroder, director of the Department of Administrative Services.
The 10 Million Mask Mailer is the second phase in Ohio’s campaign to get masks directly to older citizens. Over the Thanksgiving holiday, the agencies distributed masks to individuals within community living settings with the assistance of the area agencies on aging and other local partners. Funding for both phases of the mask mailer program was provided to Ohio by the U.S. Department of Treasury under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act.
Connecting with resources
Throughout the pandemic, older adults have been encouraged to stay home more and limit close contact with others. Services for older Ohioans have remained flexible to meet residents’ needs and changes in how those services are delivered.
Individuals who can use help with meals, transportation, home repair, care needs, and more should contact their area agency on aging. Call 1-866-243-5678 to be connected to the agency serving your community.
The Ohio Department of Aging’s Staying Connected service provides a FREE, daily check-in by phone for Ohioans age 60 or older. Participants can also connect with aging services and request a friendly chat. Visit www.aging.ohio.gov/stayingconnected or call 1-833-632-2428 to sign up.
More coronavirus information and resources for older Ohioans, caregivers, and service providers is available at www.aging.ohio.gov/coronavirus.
For information about coronavirus spread in your community and resources for all Ohioans, please visit www.coronavirus.ohio.gov.
The Ohio Department of Aging serves and advocates for the needs of Ohioans age 60 and older, as well as their families, caregivers and communities. Programs include home and community based long-term supports and services, as well as initiatives to promote health and wellness throughout the lifespan. Visit www.aging.ohio.gov.
Submitted by the Ohio Department of Aging.