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Boeing ‘Dreamlifter’ To Deliver 500K Face Masks For Utah School Districts

FILE: A Dreamlifter 747 cargo plane prepares for takeoff at Col. James Jabara Airport Novemeber 21, 2013 in Witchita, Kansas. (Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Governor Gary Herbert’s office announced the state is preparing to accept a load of 500,000 cloth face masks that will be distributed to students and teachers across Utah who will be returning to school this fall.

The masks will arrive Wednesday on a Boeing Dreamlifter jet, which is a converted 747-400 cargo freighter. This will mark the first time a Dreamlifter has landed in Utah.

Representatives from Boeing, Cotopaxi, Flexport, UPS, the Utah State Board of Education, members of Utah’s congressional delegation and other local officials and business leaders will greet and unload greet the aircraft and unload the face masks.

The release said the shipment is part of Utah’s “A Mask for Every Utahn” initiative, and school districts will get the masks for free. Boeing donated the cost of the mission transport with Atlas Air operating the flight.

Officials said the state procured the masks from H.M. Cole and Cotopaxi and districts will not have to pay for the masks.

Health officials have explained how face masks block most droplets that an infected individual may cough out, helping to prevent community transmission of coronavirus.

New COVID-19 cases were still being reported near-record numbers in Utah as state and local officials prepared to renew an emphasis on wearing face masks as a way to slow the spread of the disease.

Also, Salt Lake County officials, Real Salt Lake and others will show their support Wednesday for the ongoing #MaskUpUtah campaign.

A news release said #MaskUpUtah is a community effort also meant to encourage wearing masks.

The Utah Transit Authority will require riders to don face masks starting Wednesday.

A UTA news release said the new mask requirements comply with the Salt Lake County Health Order issued on June 26, requiring face coverings to be worn in public spaces. Summit County also requires the same practice in public places.

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