As the Mohawk Valley starts Phase One of its reopening plan after May 15, town of Whitestown residents can continue to protect themselves and others by picking up free cloth masks this week.

WKTV reports the drive-through mask distribution will be Thursday, May 14 from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Whitestown Community Center at 1 Championship Drive.

“In order to return to normalcy as soon as possible and for the gradual reopening of our economy to be successful, it’s important that we continue to wear masks and social distance,” Whitestown Supervisor Shaun Kaleta told WKTV. “I would like to thank Oneida County for purchasing tens of thousands of cloth masks and giving them to municipalities across the county to distribute to residents. It’s a cost that would have been difficult to absorb on our own.”

Patrons must show proof of Whitestown residence to receive masks, and there is a two mask limit per person, according to WKTV. Whitestown seniors who cannot make it to the distribution event can still receive masks by calling 315-768-6047.

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Governor Cuomo announced Monday during his briefing that three New York regions, including the Mohawk Valley, met all seven requirements to begin the phased reopening process. Each phase will be separated by two weeks to allow state and local officials to evaluate the effects of reopening and ensure infection rates continue to decrease. The Mohawk Valley includes Oneida, Herkimer, Fulton, Montgomery, Schoharie, and Otsego counties.

Phase One of Cuomo's reopening plan will allow businesses in the construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, agriculture, forestry, fishing, and landscaping and gardening industries to reopen. Select retail will also be open for curbside pickup only, and drive-in movie theaters and outdoor activities with low risk like tennis and golf will be allowed.

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