Photo: city of Sarasota



City of Sarasota: Look for the Mask Mobile unit, which will be giving away 50,000 face masks


City of Sarasota

Sarasota, FL: City of Sarasota staff will be giving away up to 50,000 protective face masks over the next week in order to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community.

Select staff members have been equipped with both traditional paper masks and cloth masks and are offering them to maskless visitors and residents they encounter as they perform their duties throughout Sarasota. The “Mask Mobile,” a small electric City vehicle outfittted with a white surgical mask across the front grill, will scoot around town to promote mask usage in public.

The City has strongly urged the public to wear protective masks when leaving home as part of its weekly extension of a public health emergency declaration. The City distributed 10,000 masks to residents in May.

The Florida Department of Health also recently issued a public health advisory recommending that all individuals in Florida wear masks in any setting where social distancing is not possible.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cloth face coverings may slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.

“Public health experts have made it clear that whenever social distancing is not possible, face coverings are the next best option for halting the spread of this highly contagious virus. If a pre-symptomatic person and COVID-free person are both wearing masks when crossing paths, the possible spread of the virus is reduced by 95 percent,” said City Manager Tom Barwin.

“In April, an online survey we conducted showed that 71 percent of the 1,400 respondents want masks to be required in public until the COVID-19 threat has passed. Our goal is to help facilitate and encourage everyone to be a kind neighbor and adopt this simple practice of wearing a mask when away from home. Thank you to Rosemary District residents David Lough and Moriah Taliaferro for their involvement, input and creativity with this public outreach campaign.”

Additional resources

A state-run, walk-up COVID-19 testing site is available at Robert L. Taylor Community Complex, 1845 34th St., every day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or until daily testing capacity is reached. Testing is open to everyone, regardless of residency or symptoms, and no appointments are necessary.

A Sarasota-specific call center for questions and concerns about COVID-19 is available through the Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County: 941-861-2883. Subject matter experts are available Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The most current, official information on COVID-19 in Florida can be found at A 24/7 hotline is also available: 1-866-779-6121.

For more information, contact Jason Bartolone, Communications Specialist: 941-928-3988.