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Tampa distributes more than 400,000 free masks

The city launched the initiative after Mayor Jane Castor issued a mask order for the city.

TAMPA — When Mayor Jane Castor announced an executive order requiring all city residents to wear face coverings while indoors outside their homes earlier this month, some residents asked why they should have to buy masks to comply.

The city’s response to that question was to distribute more than 400,000 masks since Castor’s order was announced on June 18.

The city gave away 380,000 masks at several sites around the city. It also donated 10,000 masks to Hillsborough Area Regional Transit and another 15,000 to local bars and restaurants in an effort that wrapped up last weekend.

“We’ve officially distributed more masks than we have residents,” said Castor’s spokeswoman Ashley Bauman.

The city has 399,700 residents, according to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau estimates. Hillsborough County’s largest city is also third-largest in the state.

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